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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charity leisure group denies threat of closures after council paper


Edinburgh Leisure said there had been “misleading” reporting in the media

Edinburgh’s arms-length leisure organisation has warned of “misleading” media coverage amid reports of mass venue closures. 

Edinburgh Leisure, a charity in Scotland’s capital, prepared a report for councillors which warned that multi-million pound budget pressures could force as many as eight venues to close. 

A list of swimming pools, sports centres and pitches potentially facing closure was drawn up alongside a warning of budget pressures of £736k this year and a further £3.5 million in 2024/25. 

The report to the council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee said other options being considered by the charity include increasing charges by up to eight per cent and reducing opening hours. 

The venues at risk are outdoor pitches and pitch venues at Niddire’s Jack Kane Sports Centre, Meggetland Sports Complex and Saughton Sports Complex; Portobello Swim Centre; Kirkliston Leisure Centre; Leisure facilities at Wester Hailes High School; Gracemount Leisure Centre; and Glenogle Swim Centre, Stockbridge. 

Over 160 staff could be affected by the closures, if they went ahead as suggested.

However, the charity has now said the reports were taken out of context, and that facility closures are not being considered. 

The charity wrote on its website: “There have been several misleading media articles regarding venue closures at Edinburgh Leisure. The charity is facing significant financial challenges next year (2024/25) due to several factors, including further increases in energy costs.

“Information was prepared on venue closures to illustrate the scale of these challenges and the potential impact on services. Unfortunately, several media articles omitted to cover these all-important points in favour of reporting ‘venue closures’. 

“Work is ongoing with our funding partner, the City of Edinburgh Council, as to how we might address the financial challenges and ensure our work to support the citizens of Edinburgh to be active and well continues!

“There are no venue closures planned for at this time and customers should feel confident that we are doing everything we can to maintain all our venues.

“It is very much business as usual so please keep using and supporting us!”



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