FAQ's - High School Sports Facilities - Community Access - Council's decision to reverse proposed extra £35 charge

Edinburgh Leisure | Friday 29th June 2018 11:14am

FAQ's - High School Sports Charges - delay on implementation of non-core pricing

 Q. Why has the Council reversed their decision on the proposed extra £35 per hour fee to hire out the Council’s 11 public-private partnership (PPP) High Schools.

A: Edinburgh Leisure manages community access to the Council’s high schools (apart from Wester Hailes Education Centre).  

The City of Edinburgh Council review the school charges every year as part of their budget process and we, as Edinburgh Leisure, implement the new scale of charges from 1st of August.

To ensure equity of pricing across Council owned sports facilities, we are working to harmonise Council and Edinburgh Leisure charges over several years. 

As the first step, it was proposed by the City of Edinburgh Council, that an extra £35 per hour would be added to clubs or organisations hiring out facilities at the Council’s 11 PPP High Schools outside of core hours. However, a motion put forward by Green Cllr Alex Staniforth at a recent Council meeting (29 June), proposed to delay implementation of non-core pricing until a full impact assessment is conducted.

Q. What does this mean for my club?

Edinburgh Leisure’s schools’ bookings team is currently confirming lets for the August to December 2018 term minus the £35 additional charge for non-core hours in PPP schools.

However, it should be noted that the inflationary charges approved by The City of Edinburgh Council in February 2018, as part of the budget, will still be applied to adult and commercial lets.


Q. Why was this initial additional charge of £35 proposed?

Eleven of the Council’s high schools are ‘Public, Private, Partnership’ (PPP) Schools. The contracts in place for the operation of these schools identify ‘core hours’ of operation. Opening these schools out with these core hours incurs additional and unbudgeted costs for the Council.  These costs had, in some schools, been passed on to the customer. However, to ensure a consistent and equitable approach and to cover the additional costs, a new consistent practice has been introduced for all PPP schools from 1 August.  Access to PPP school facilities during ‘non-core’ hours would have attracted a charge of £35 per hour, in addition to the usual facility hire charge. This charge was to cover the additional charges the Council incurs from the PPP contractor.  This is the charge that has now been postponed allowing for an impact assessment to be conducted.

The Council is also reviewing the janitorial cover in their remaining 12 high schools; with a view to identifying ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ time.  At this stage we have no information on the impact of such on prices and access.  As soon as we receive confirmation about changes to these schools, we will let people know.  


Q: Why were indoor halls, gyms and studio spaces affected more with this new pricing approach?

A: Due to the PPP contracts in place, the contracts allocated more ‘core’ time to swimming pools and outdoor pitches, particularly in PPP2 Schools.  

Q: What is PPP?

A: PPP is a Private Public Partnership contract where private money has been invested into the building and ongoing facility management of a school.  These contracts are not unique to Edinburgh, they are in place across the UK.

In Edinburgh, there are:

- 5 High Schools, in the PPP1 contract

- 6 High Schools, in the PPP2 contract

- The remaining 12 High Schools are Council owned

For a full list of which schools are PPP1, PPP2 or Council, please refer to the Pricing Appendix 1 on our website.

Q: How much is Edinburgh Leisure making from the High Schools’ transfer?

A: We / Edinburgh Leisure do not ‘make’ any money from operating the schools.  Edinburgh Leisure is the operator of the Council’s High Schools but only during community time (after 6.00pm weekdays, weekends and holiday periods).  The income collected meets the direct costs associated with delivering the service, with the net surplus returned to the Council.

All details of charges are on Edinburgh Leisure’s website in the Schools’ section –  


Contact details: / 0131 458 2212




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