In response to yesterday’s Edinburgh Evening News article, basketballscotland wishes to clarify its stance regarding proposed facility hire increases by Edinburgh Leisure.

At a time of continued growth and success for Scottish basketball, at both amateur and professional level, basketballscotland has responded publicly to the proposed price increases for access to Edinburgh Leisure facilities and the detrimental impact this is likely to have on individuals, clubs and communities in Scotland’s Capital.

Our concern relates to PPP (Private Public Partnership) secondary school pricing to sport clubs for hall hire. PPP is a private funding model for the build and management of new build schools across Scotland with contributions from the Scottish Government. City of Edinburgh Council are contracted to PPP agreements which include management expenses across several schools. Of the 21 public High Schools in Edinburgh, 11 are PPP schools.

The proposed new pricing model means that our affiliated clubs are faced with an increase in hourly rates of 176.67% for adults and 254.29% youth when booking a sports hall in ‘non-core’ hours. This means that clubs will now pay £56 per hour comparable to £19 last year for youth basketball. It’s important to note that core-hours vary significantly across schools.

Speaking of the proposed changes, Kevin Pringle, Chief Executive of basketballscotland, commented: “We are actively supporting our clubs in their campaign for fair access to venues at a fair price. We fear that the dramatic price increases could have a significant negative impact on sport in communities in Edinburgh, and have an impact on basketball at a time of continued growth, alongside great success for our amateur and professional clubs and our national team.”

“Our clubs are telling us that the price increases will force them to pass that charge to players. We are proud of the fact that young people, both male and female, often from disadvantaged communities, turn to our sport for a sense of belonging, purpose and to grow as people, both physically and mentally. The new pricing policy will put access to basketball beyond the means of people who need it most. In some cases, the new pricing will lead to membership of clubs significantly decreasing, while a number of clubs may be forced to close down. We also know from conversations with colleagues in other governing bodies, that the impact will be much wider than just basketball clubs.”

“We are prepared to discuss these issues with the Council and Edinburgh Leisure and to find a way forward that allows volunteer-led clubs to deliver opportunities in communities throughout Edinburgh, while at the same time respecting the need for the Council and Edinburgh Leisure to manage their finances.”

basketballscotland will continue to work with its clubs to ensure a positive outcome is achieved for all involved and will continue to publicly voice the concerns of its member clubs.