General News:

An update for our customers


Dear customer,

I am writing to let you know that, as you may already be aware, Aberdeen City Council confirmed yesterday that it is reducing our funding support by £687,000 and to explain the impact this will have for you, our valued customer.

Our Board of Directors met yesterday to assess how to respond to this significant reduction in funding. It was clear to the trustees that the scale of this financial challenge, coupled with energy price increases, meant that the only way to protect the long-term interests of the charity was to reduce the number of facilities that we operate.

After careful appraisal of all of our facilities, looking at both the operation and maintenance costs, as well as the condition and future of the venues, the board reluctantly came to the conclusion that we will be unable to operate the Beach Leisure Centre and Bucksburn Swimming Pool beyond Sunday 16 April 2023, when both venues will close to the public. 

Our Chairman, Tony Dawson has asked me to share the below statement with you:

“In December last year, our Managing Director Alistair Robertson met with council co-leaders, the chief executive and service directors and was informed of the financial pressures facing local government across Scotland. As a council owned company, it was inevitable that Sport Aberdeen was invited to be part of the discussion and asked what it could do to help the council in this most difficult of circumstances.

“Given the scale of financial challenge, coupled with energy price increases, it was made clear that in the event of a significant funding reduction we would be unable to sustain all the services and facilities we operate.

“Both parties reluctantly accepted that in such a circumstance it would be necessary to cease the operation of Beach Leisure Centre and Bucksburn Swimming Pool, and base future provision at the remaining leisure assets in the city.

“We are already working to minimise the impact on our customers and staff as best we can and I have requested that our Managing Director investigate, as a priority, the feasibility of increasing access at Dyce Academy swimming pool. It would be our intention to move as many of our lessons there as possible to meet the significant demand that exists.

“Our immediate priority has been to reassure staff that their jobs are safe and that everyone will be offered roles at our other venues. We are in the process of contacting our valued customers to make them aware of our other facilities where they can continue to get active.”

Cllr Alex Nicoll, Aberdeen City Council co-leader commented;

“It is well known that the Beach Leisure Centre is at the end of its lifecycle, which is why we are planning for a new facility as part of the Beachfront Master Plan. The leisure pool closed last year due to a combination of rising energy costs and problems with the pool plant infrastructure, and it is simply uneconomical to carry on. The council will arrange for the building to be taken down and the site cleared to make way for future developments.”

In the case of Bucksburn Swimming Pool, in a joint statement Aberdeen City Council and Sport Aberdeen confirmed that;

“Unfortunately, there are significant issues with Bucksburn Swimming Pool plant, linked to the age of the facility, which would cost over £400,000 to address. In the current environment that is just not feasible. In addition, yesterday the Council confirmed in its 2023/2024 budget a commitment of £13million to expand Bucksburn Academy in order to accommodate an increasing school roll, which means that the site of the pool is needed to create space for additional school buildings.”

What will happen to my membership?

Your swim and fitness membership is still valid and can be used at all of our pools and gyms across the city. We will support all of our members through this transition and we will send a further update very soon, with information on alternative venues which are nearby so that you can keep getting active with us.

What will happen to my swimming lessons?

Your direct debit payments will be frozen from the start of May while we work to relocate our lessons programme. Lessons due to take place in the second half of April will be credited when lessons restart at a different venue and any outstanding top-up balances will remain in credit. Our team are working very hard to review the lessons programme, and unfortunately cannot take any requests to move lessons for the moment. We will support all of our valued customers through this change as best we can and will be in touch with you with further information and next steps very soon.

I know that this is an extremely disappointing outcome and I assure you that this decision was not taken lightly. Everyone at Sport Aberdeen remains committed to providing the best sport and physical activity experiences for our customers and we will do all we can to support you over the coming weeks as we move through these changes together.

Best wishes,

Alistair Robertson
Managing Director