83-year-old Crewe Swimming Club threatened by rising pool prices

A historic and beloved swimming club in Crewe is set to close after confirmation of a 20% rise in pool rental prices.

Crewe Flyers, which is based at the city’s lifestyle hub, could be forced to close within a year as it continues to struggle financially following the Covid pandemic.

The club, which has been part of the city since 1939, is currently ‘hemorrhaging’ at the rate of around £1,000 a month, losing a third of its swimmers and nearly £20,000 in the past two years,

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And now Everybody Sport and Recreation, which runs the Crewe Lifestyle Centre, has confirmed it is raising the cost of pool hire – and the club fears this could spell the end of its existence.

But club spokesman Dave Mears said the Flyers would not give up without a fight – but appealed for help from locals and the authorities.

Crewe Life Center

He said: “We were going strong with around 135 members but when Covid hit we suddenly found ourselves with no pool to train in and no competitions to compete in.

“We used a good chunk of the cash reserves to get back up and running once the restrictions were lifted, but we saw a 33% drop in the number of swimmers, which means a similar drop in revenue.

“Over the past 12 months we have kept the same pool time and paid our coaches in hopes of bringing numbers back to pre-Covid levels.

“But on top of that we are facing a 20% increase in pool hire costs from April and unfortunately we have to increase our membership prices at the same time – but we won’t be asking for more than that. 5% extra.

“We therefore have to make serious decisions in the coming months. Do we reduce the time spent at the swimming pool? Let the coaches go? We don’t want to do that, but what choice do we have?

“If we don’t get more funding, there is a real danger that the club will fold within 12 months as they will run out of money to cover the costs. It would be a shame, but we won’t give up without a fight. , we are determined to make the club work.

A spokesperson for Everybody Sport and Recreation said all clubs had been told there would be an annual rental fee increase since the launch of the club user agreement six years ago.

They said: “However, we have not increased any rental costs for our clubs since these agreements were put in place to allow all clubs to stabilize their membership base, particularly after a very uncertain period during Covid. -19.

“We have also supported clubs such as Crewe Flyers as much as possible during the pandemic to continue operating with flexible payment options.

“In line with our increased operational costs and to ensure the full recovery of our charity, from April 2022 we will be increasing rental fees for all clubs in accordance with the Club User Agreement.

“Our aquatics team has been in contact with representatives from all of our clubs and supports these fee changes where possible.”

The Flyers, who have developed many swimmers at county, regional and national level over the years, currently have 14 qualified members for the Cheshire Championships this year.

Their new group of rookies hope to get their first taste of competitive action in the coming months.

Dave, who joined the Flyers board in 2006 when his children started swimming, applied for a grant to pay for new equipment and training, but it will now have to be used to cover basic costs.

He added: “We are desperate to attract new swimmers to the club to increase revenue and reduce losses. It’s a fantastic club that caters to all levels of swimmers and offers a great way for kids to stay active and healthy and make new friends.

“If any parents in the Crewe area would like their children to learn to swim, please contact us by finding us on Facebook or through our website creweflyers.co.uk.

“We would also love to hear from local businesses that may be willing to support us, and would be extremely grateful for any donations or sponsorship to help us stay afloat.”