Students returning from their Easter break will find the Sportspark’s athletic track admission price has increased, for the first time in six years. Norfolk County Council has previously subsidised the track’s operation with a £20,000 yearly grant to allow free school access.

However, from the end of July the money will be withdrawn, which according to the Sportspark “for the last 20 years, has assisted greatly in off-setting the operational costs associated with the track.”

The Sportspark raised prices at the beginning of April to coincide with the start of the new track athletics season.

However, after consultation with the City of Norwich Athletics Club, the increases have been revised.

Previously, Sportspark members were charged £3.20 for peak time admission and £2.80 off-peak, which has risen to £3.65 and £3.20 respectively. The £5.50 admission price for non-members remains. A new annual track pass has also been launched for members.

Students’ Union Activities and Opportunities Officer Joe Zilch said: “Whilst we don’t think that this increase will affect a large number of students, it’s a step back considering that student hardship is on the increase and we’re trying to encourage student sport participation.”

He added that the SU are “calling for a proper review of student charges across the board at UEA – ensuring that students are consulted if price increases are proposed and that the right balance is struck between public and student pricing.”