Active Tameside announces closure of three sites as costs rise

Ashton leisure centre, Ashton-under-Lyne
THREE Tameside fitness facilities – including Ashton-under-Lyne’s much-used swimming baths – are to close.
Active Tameside, which runs the services, has announced the doors will shut in Ashton and at Longdendale and Broadbottom.
It says costs rising to more than £2 million a year have forced their hand after Tameside Council was unable to help.
Rumours about the future of Active Tameside have been circulating for some time, now this decision calls its operation of other venues into question, although it insists its other eight facilities will stay open.
In a statement, the trust explained: “Over the course of the last 18 months, the significant financial changes in our national economy have ravaged our financial capacity to remain financially viable as an organisation.
“Current national research shows that energy bills for the sector have increased between 150 per cent to 200 per cent compared to 2021, due to the high energy consumption of swimming pools and sports complexes.


Etherow Centre
“In cash terms this has taken our utilities spend up to £2million per annum. All additional related products such as chemicals, insurances and people costs have in turn seen dramatic rises, exacerbating the financial situation faced by the Trust.”
Active Tameside admitted money troubles meant its existence was in doubt last year.
But after reserves were raided to keep going and the council, which has its own financial issues, could not help – with vastly raising prices not an option – the decision was taken to axe three.
As a result, Active Etherow will close on Friday, September 1 and Active Ashton and Adventure Longdendale on Sunday, September 3.
Active Tameside added: “As a provider of predominantly discretionary public services for all, our ability to simply charge our customers significantly more for their activities is not an option.
“Doubling the price for a swim would have a significant impact on attendances and in turn the health of our community.
“Last financial year, the company held reserves which ultimately allowed us to continue trading, but unfortunately these have now depleted.
“We find ourselves in a place where the options to remain financially viable without significant change is not feasible.
“Our key stakeholder, Tameside Council, although highly sympathetic to our plight again faces its own challenges and unfortunately any additional financial support cannot be offered.
“As an organisation, a series of options to reduce costs and maximise income have been created and are currently being implemented.
“Unfortunately, due to the amount required it is with deep regret that we must announce the closures of three of our sites; Active Ashton, Adventure Longdendale and Active Etherow.
“The sites have been selected on their current levels of subsidy and the physical fabric of the site, has also been considered.
“We understand this will have a significant impact on our community but unfortunately all possible cost cutting measures have already been taken, this is the only option to secure the future of our other eight centres and facilities.
“Rest assured we have a plan in place to relocate all our affected staff, service users and clubs where possible over the coming weeks.
“All members and service users of the centres will receive further updates on membership status and swimming lesson status imminently.
“It is with deep regret that we must announce these closures and we hope you understand the reasons behind why we have had to make these difficult decisions.”

9 Replies to “Active Tameside announces closure of three sites as costs rise”

  1. Absolutely gutted why Ashton? when lots of people have swimming lessons, swimming gym etc. Councillors lining their own pockets. Ashton will very soon turn into a ghost town. Spending money again on the market already refurbished a few years ago. Denton centre has spent thousands on the running track which is hardly used, especially when raining), Not voting ever again not worth the hassle. This site possible has been sold, to build more flats. what a joke

    1. I don’t know about the site being sold, but you are probably right. I think the closure of the Ashton baths is a disgrace, and I am sure the money sunk into the “Wellness” centre in Denton has something to do with it . There seems to have been a policy to do away with local swimming facilities over the years. This causes inconvenience for those who can’t drive for whatever reason to out of the way facilities such as the Denton Centre, and I would have thought the closure of Ashton Baths will have an impact on school swimming. This issue affects me, as a bowler, as there are no other indoor bowling facilities in Tameside. As a 75 year old bowling is one of the few sports I can enjoy, and the centre is well-used by mainly elderly people, who not only enjoy bowling but also the social aspect which is a great help to our mental health. Don’t let Tameside con you into thinking they care for your well-being – they don’t.

  2. It’s an absolute disgrace . Obviously people’s well being and mental health don’t figure in Tameside Councils agenda. Moving the bus station around and around until it’s dizzy plus building another monstrosity for Council Offices is more financially important than Tameside health and well being. Complete sacrilege. Wrong decision Tameside completely out of order. I hope you can sleep in your beds at night.

  3. The bowling at the Etherow Centre is a lifeline for many retired people, providing gentle exercise and a social meeting place. It may be the only contact some players have with other people. It is well used, particularly in winter. There is no other indoor bowling available in the area.

    1. Hello Sandra,

      As a regular user of the Etherow site for both social and competitive bowling during the Autumn/Winter months I share your disappointment with the so-called “decision”. I believe we have been singled out as an “easy target”. The centre is well-used and there no other facilities in the area for our sport. I have written to our MP Jonathan Reynolds, so far with no reply, and have had a letter published in the Tameside Reporter regarding this matter. I think Active Tameside are concentrating all their efforts on the new “Wellness” centre in Denton, which is not a lot of use to residents in the far-flung areas of Tamesdie, and especially those who cannot drive due to age and infirmity or not having the wherewithal to afford to run a car,.

  4. I’m sure our well paid councillors will go missing . Absolutely disgraceful. Get shut of 50% of councillors . Rid of Lord Mayor and chauffeur driven car all paid by us and put proceeds towards baths . Worst run council in England.

  5. Regarding the closure of Leisure Facilities in Tameside, could we not organise some sort of demonstration to show our disgust? Possibly at a council meeting? Anybody interested?

  6. Keep on voting for the red ribbons though, they’ve got enough money to loan out to other councils. They’ve pretty much cut every service and put up council tax …. oh and their own wages of course

  7. I tried to take my 6 year old grandson for a swim after school, he lives in Stalybridge. I discovered that children can not go swimmimg after school as it is only avilable to those who pay for swimming lessons. I think this is a disgrace that the majority of children in Tameside can not go swimming after school. Evening is too late for most young children. This is all five days during the week, they cant even have a couple of days on the timetable. Who pays for the pools? Is it us the taxpayers?

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