Equipment at 10 north-east gyms could be replaced in a bid to encourage more people to get healthy.
According to an Aberdeenshire Council report, local authority bosses are considering ditching their own equipment, such as treadmills and cross trainers, and leasing it instead.
They hope that will lead to more fitness enthusiasts – enticed by the latest gadgets – signing up, boosting the council’s coffers through membership fees.
However, the report warns such a step could expect to cost the council between £60,000 and £110,000 a year.
It would also save the council £30,000 annually in serving and equipment fees – so the challenge would be to earn at least an extra £30,000 a year in membership fees.
A typical annual membership fee is £12 – meaning the council would have to attract at least 250 new customers to break even.
Leisure memberships rake in £1.5 million a year for the council.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
The report was to be presented to the council’s culture and sport sub-committee at its meeting at Woodhill House, Aberdeen, today.
It states: “The current approach has disadvantages as there is no provision for the regular replacement of equipment.
“This leads to the provision of ageing equipment in some facilities which does not always meet modern user expectations.” The report added: “Officers perceive an opportunity to increase customer usage and income through memberships and gym entry sales through a lease arrangement.
“This may in turn offset additional costs involved.
“An outcome of this would be an improved impact on the physical health of our residents and improved financial sustainability.”
The report recommends councillors ask the council to carry out more research by number crunching.
It also recommends asking for the advice of public authorities that already lease equipment.
The research can then be presented to councillors on the committee at a later date before a final decision is made.