Calls for concessions for Armed Forces personnel

The swimming pool at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick.
The swimming pool at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick.

A county councillor is calling for the reinstation of concessions at Northumberland leisure centres for Armed Forces personnel.

Coun Steven Bridgett, ward member for Rothbury, said he recently learnt that reduced rates for military representatives ceased with the introduction of a new pricing policy towards the end of last year.

Rothbury County Councillor Steven Bridgett.

Rothbury County Councillor Steven Bridgett.

Active Northumberland runs the county’s leisure-centre services for Northumberland County Council.

Coun Bridgett said: “As a member of the council, I believe I have a responsibility to call for a concessionary charging policy to be re-introduced across Northumberland for any military service personnel wishing to use our fitness centres.

“I would go one step further and suggest that we should also include members of staff from the Fire Service, Police Force and Ambulance Service.”

In reply, Lorraine Dewison, chief executive of Active Northumberland, said: “Many of the Active Northumberland centres have individual corporate membership agreements with organisations including the Armed Forces, police and ambulance service. For example, RAF Boulmer has an agreement with Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre in Alnwick, to offer special discounted sessions for their personnel.

“We are now working with the council to explore and review these agreements in a bid to standardise pricing across the county.

“We want to protect, maintain and improve leisure facilities for all Northumberland residents, including people in the Armed Forces.

“We are working on plans to invest in existing and new facilities county-wide.”