Extra opening hours finalised at three Fife sports centres after public get say

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Fifers have had their say on how additional opening hours should be deployed at sports centres in the region.

A consultation run by Fife Sports and Leisure Trust will lead to changes at three key venues.

The charitable trust used an independent research consultancy to find out what locals felt about operational changes to facilities in their areas. Over 1000 people were questioned, and 47 local community groups and sports clubs consulted as well as 11 councillors.

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It came after the trust announced in March that it would increase opening hours at East Sands Leisure Centre in St Andrews by 15 hours, Cupar Sports Centre by 13 hours and Dalgety Bay Sports and Leisure Centre by 15 hours.

The Beacon in Burntisland and East Sands Leisure Centre in St AndrewsThe Beacon in Burntisland and East Sands Leisure Centre in St Andrews
The Beacon in Burntisland and East Sands Leisure Centre in St Andrews

The results of the consultation showed that 91 per cent of those asked believed that sports and leisure services were important for community use, and trust facilities were also rated highly - but opening hours were a key barrier to access.

Cupar selected to use its extra 13 hours to have all-day opening on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with weekends extended from 8:00am to 3:00pm and an extra 30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dalgety Bay opted for no closures on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with an increase at weekends from 9:00am to 4.30pm while East Sandswill see its extra hours divided across weekdays with no closures. Fife Council will make a funding package available to support the launch of the new timetables.

In addition, Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre will see the reintroduction of public swimming between 12 noon and 3:00pm and, Beacon Leisure Centre in Burntisland is set for enhanced opening hours for 10 weeks during the school holidays, Monday to Friday 9:00am to 11:00am. The move, funded by the trust, will run as a pilot this summer with a view that a long-term model can be achieved if there is sufficient customer demand.

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Emma Walker, chief executive, said: “The results of the consultation are important for the trust and will drive forward our planning and delivery over the coming months – not only on the additional hours but on the wider relationship with communities to encourage greater participation in physical activity.”