Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Crags 1: sports centre closing December

December 23rd is the likely date for the closure of the Crags Sports Centre in Bowmont Place in the Southside.  Edinburgh Leisure will hand back the premises to Edinburgh Council at the end of the year.

The Council is looking for organisations who might be willing to run the premises, primarily for sporting or community use.  If no such arrangement is viable it is likely the premises will be available for commercial purposes.

Edinburgh Leisure receives a grant from Edinburgh Council in respect of a number of uneconomic facilities which it runs on their behalf.   Earlier this year the Council announced a a reduction in that grant.  Edinburgh Leisure have indicated they do not intend to keep on paring down their services but have adopted a strategy of removing some of the most uneconomic parts of their organisation.  Hence their announcement of the closure of the Crags.

Edinburgh Leisure is an organisation set up by Edinburgh Council to run as an arms length company with its own Board.

The short history is a the Crags Sports Centre is an instructive tale in which emotion and sentiment triumphed over common sense.  More in a subsequent posts later.


F said...

I live in London but am from Edinburgh and return ever so often particularly Xmas. It however isnt worth my while to set up a direct debit .. a practise which I try to avoid even at the best of times.

It seems that there shall be no pay as you go gyms in the Southside after when the Craggs Sports Centre closes.

The closure of the CSE to the public is another disaster.

Why is this happening?

It seems Edinburgh Council have decided that gyms are only for the wealthy.

Cameron said...


Are you really suggesting that other people should pay for your gym experience?

Why is this happening? Local people persuaded the Council to allow them to build it - a noble aspiration but the local committee could not make it financially viable. It was then taken over by Edinburgh Leisure - against their better judgement - because they did not consider it financially viable.

But the Council did a deal with them - effectively making their social grant to EL conditional on them taking it over.

I understand they have operated it efficiently but have not, and never considered it could wash its face.

Continued subsidy, on the assumption that it has social value beyond the subsidy value, might be a good thing to do - but I don't think there is strong evidence for that. The reality of financial discipline means Edinburgh Council has reduced its subsidy to EL and EL cannot make it run other than at a loss.

The Commonwealth Pool will provide renewed facilities, the University offers facilities even nearer in the Pleasance and there are other gyms throughout the city.

As to which provide payg facilities I cannot say at the moment.

Best wishes and thanks for calling by.

Anonymous said...

Was interested to hear that a certain Edinburgh Lesuire Board member, who lives in the vicinity of the Crags had obtained some of the exercise equipment when the centre shut! Not bad going for a disabled person to lift such heavy equipment! The South Side still has eyes and ears and of course very long memories when it comes to those who have taken advantage of there position within the community for self gain!!!

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