ActiveLife is Orkney’s exciting new leisure scheme offering unlimited access to 12 different sports and leisure venues across the county, launching on 16 January 2017.

The joint initiative between Pickaquoy Centre Trust and Orkney Islands Council has one simple aim – to get more people, more active, more often.

The scheme offers access to a host of facilities, activities and fitness classes available at:

  • The Pickaquoy Centre
  • Kirkwall Grammar School (KGS) Sports Centre
  • Stromness Squash Courts
  • Stromness Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre
  • The Dounby Centre
  • Seven Healthy Living Centres run by Orkney Islands Council around Orkney based at the community schools in North Walls, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, St Margarets Hope, Westray and Stronsay Junior High

The ActiveLife scheme is initially being launched as a two year pilot, which will be reviewed by the Picky Centre Trust and the Council after the first year.

Costs for an ‘ActiveLife’ membership will be:

  • Individual – £19.50 per month.
  • Family – £29.50 per month (two adults living at the same address and any number of children under 18).
  • Budget – 50p per person per activity (based on receipt of certain benefits – terms and conditions apply).

Memberships will include half price Learn2Swim blocks for children, which can be taken up at the Picky and Stromness pools. For those who qualify for the Budget membership, children will be eligible to attend Learn2Swim blocks for 50p per lesson.

Activities include (where available at each of the venues):

  • Swimming
  • Use of health suites – sauna, steam room and spa pool
  • Group exercise classes – over 50 a week with something for everyone
  • 50+ club activities
  • Use of all gym, weights and exercise equipment across the facilities – including free initial inductions
  • Racket sports – squash, badminton, short tennis, table tennis
  • ‘Jungle World’ soft play
  • Kids Inflatables sessions
  • Athletics track
  • Climbing Wall
  • Bouldering Cave

More details on how to sign up will be made available in coming weeks via the local media, our social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the Council’s social media(Facebook and Twitter).

We hope you will join us when we launch in January!

Frequently asked questions

Can I sign up yet?

Not yet! Launch day is 16 January 2017 – you’ll be able to sign up at any of the participating venues from that date. Keep an eye on local press, our social media and this webpage for more details.

How did it come about?

A key aim of both the Council and the Pickaquoy Centre Trust is to encourage and enable an active, healthy community. This scheme is the result of the Council and the Picky Trust working together to try to achieve this fully as possible. In other areas of Scotland, similar schemes have quickly attracted many new members, and seen increased usage of facilities – a win win situation!

So – what’s not included?

The scheme does not include cinema tickets, exercise classes paid for in a ‘block’, or personalised gym programmes after initial programmes offered during signup. Also, only Learn2Swim lessons are discounted under the scheme (ie AquaFun and Pre-School swim blocks remain at their usual price).

Who is eligible for the Budget option?

If you are receiving a ‘means tested’ benefit payment, ie income support, pension guarantee credit, job seeker’s allowance, or employment support allowance, you are eligible for the Budget membership giving you access to activities at any centre for 50p per activity. As these benefits are based on household income, anyone residing at your address can also access activities for 50p per session.

Individuals receiving a war disability pension, disabled living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance or carer’s allowance are entitled to the Budget option also (but not members of their wider household).

I don’t want to take up an ActiveLife membership – what are my options?

You can still use facilities, at the standard ‘Pay and Play’ rate at individual centres. There are no concession rates – this is to help encourage people to take up the pilot scheme and tap into the flexibility and wide range of activities it offers.

But won’t this cost some people more?

For some, the new fee structure will represent a modest increase over the course of month on what they are paying for an activity at the venue they are signed up with. However – the new scheme will provide unlimited activity sessions, on a wide range of activities, across all 12 facilities, giving many more options to be more active, more often.

The scheme is designed to provide a budget option for those who have a demonstrable need for it (ie are in receipt of means tested benefit payments), and an attractive but affordable scheme for everybody else.

So while a small number of users might pay more for a monthly membership, on the whole the scheme enables most people to make more use of the excellent facilities we have in Orkney, with greater flexibility, more choice and less cost than ever before.