By Alex Dowdalls

EAST Renfrewshire residents who have made a New Year resolution to get in shape have suffered a blow after leisure chiefs announced price increases.

The cost of joining one of the gyms run by East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL) will go up on Monday, January 8, although current members won’t see an increase until September.

And, although the standard price of a pay-as-you-go gym session stays the same, there will be a hike in the cost of some gym and fitness classes.

The cost of some swimming sessions and passes will also increase in April, although the price of a standard adult swim will stay the same.

And, to soften the impact of the price increases, a new 12-month gym contract that gives people a year’s membership for the cost of 11 months is being introduced.

Anthony McReavy, ERCL chief executive, has defended the price increases – pointing out they are the first to be introduced in four years and come at a time when the organisation is having to deal with rising costs.

In addition, it was recently announced that ERCL is to suffer a £330,000 reduction in the funding it receives from East Renfrewshire Council over the next three years.

Mr McReavy said: “Sports and leisure prices in East Renfrewshire haven’t been increased since 2014 but our costs have risen in that time.

“We want to continue providing the services we do and this means we need to increase prices during the coming year.

“Our concessions scheme was very complicated and we have simplified this to make sure our resources are spent giving concessions to those who need it the most.”

The concessionary scheme will become a single discounted rate of 30 per cent off the full price for people on low income, unemployed, disabled, under-16, in full-time education or of State Pension age and older.