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New closing times for EA Networks Centre pools

Published: 14 April 2022

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EA Networks Centre is introducing new closing times for its pools and aquatic area, to help reduce operating costs for ratepayers and better reflect patterns of use.

From Tuesday 26 April, the pools, sauna and spa will close two hours earlier at 7pm on weekdays and 5pm in the weekends. Closing times for the stadium will remain the same, while gym hours are also under review and could change in the future.

Ashburton District Council Chief Executive Hamish Riach said Covid-19 had changed the way people exercised and the facility needed to ensure it ran cost-effectively by matching its services with community demand. Recent data had shown that only a small handful of people were using the facility in the final hours of the day.

“Like many other businesses and recreation centres around the country, Covid has had a big impact on the EA Networks Centre and put pressure on our budgets.

Closing slightly earlier makes good financial sense, while retaining a high level of service for the majority of visitors and our community.”

The new hours will require some reshuffling, with evening aquacise classes moved to an earlier timeslot. The swim school will be unaffected by the changes and the pool will be able to stay open late for event bookings and swim meets.

“Despite inflation, we’ve managed to hold our charges steady for many users, but the centre is supported by rates so we need to be practical about how it operates.”

Mr Riach said EA Networks Centre members had been emailed about the new hours and advertising was under way to update casual customers and visitors.

“We appreciate it will take time for people to get used to the change, and there will be a grace period over the first week so we can talk to customers who prefer to visit later in the evenings.”

He said the centre remained an important asset for the district and staff were excited about the possibility of introducing some new programmes during the day.

“We're also preparing a detailed business and marketing plan for the facility to support growth in the future, react to new trends and attract new users.”

Pool, Spa and Sauna hours from 26 April 2022:
*    Weekdays – 5.45am to 7pm
*    Weekends – 7am to 5pm