The University of Salford has ushered in a 50% increase in swimming lessons for local kids as the Dolphin Academy has become its `sole provider'.
Until this month, a company called Swims Away were running the lessons for youngsters charging £18 per month but the Dolphin Academy is now asking for £27 a month - a £9, or 50%, increase for local parents already feeling the effects of austerity.
The University of Salford issued a statement on its website... "November 2015 marks a new dawn, with regards to our aquatic provision and Commercial Partnerships. Existing partner's Dolphin Academy, will now officially be our sole provider (and deliverer) of Swimming provision at the Sports Centre..."
The `new dawn', and the apparent ditching of Swims Away, was hardly welcomed by local parents...
"Swims Away actually charge rather less in Salford than they do elsewhere in recognition that ours is a deprived area, and I am very grateful to them for that" one parent told the Salford Star "Now, however, the University has simply decided to hire the pool out exclusively to a different, much more expensive swimming lessons provider.
"I have no idea whether Dolphin are good or bad" they added "What I do know is that a forced change to another provider will disrupt my children's swimming progress and have their time wasted with re-assessments. This is a huge 50% price hike and seems very unfair."
Parents suspect that the University increased charges for the use of the pool, pricing Swims Away out of the water, and ushering in Dolphin Academy which was prepared to meet the costs by passing them onto those who needed the swimming lessons.
"It seems that the University has scant regard for the people who live in the community around it; like it doesn't care about the impact its decision will have on families of modest means nearby" said a parent...
"I am now faced with either abandoning my children's swimming lessons altogether or finding money that I can't afford so as not to disappoint my children, just to satisfy the greed of a money-grubbing university..."
The Salford Star asked the University of Salford, Dolphin Academy and Swims away for a comment but none responded.