A NEW leisure centre contractor will be able to bump up admission prices in a deal that could earn the council an additional £880,000 a year.

On November 30 Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) approved one of the companies which made a bid to run the four publicly owned leisure centres in the borough plus two new complexes soon to be built.

While the name of the chosen company will not be made public until late January with the contractor to start on May 1, Councillor Norman Jorgensen, executive member for leisure, did speak of how the arrangement would work.

He said: "Under the leisure operations contract the operator will pay a fee to the council. From that fee WBC will pay off any capital sums spent on new builds, the new Bulmershe Leisure Centre and Carnival Pool complex.

"Having paid off these capital sums from the fee there will be money left over which will be revenue to the council, thus helping keep council tax down. This revenue is forecast to be £880,000 per year.

"We are not able to say if the price will go up. It will be up to them. They will need to balance demand and price. They are planning to increase footfall."

Also approved at the same meeting were plans to replace the Bulmershe Leisure Centre in Woodley.

A new state of the art centre featuring a sports hall, a 25m six lane swimming pool, a 75 station gym, two studios, a teaching pool with movable floor and a café will be built in place of the 1970s building.