SPORTS clubs who use Carnegie Leisure Centre could lose regular training slots following moves to cut costs by slashing its weekend opening hours.

A customer notice, placed within the Pilmuir Street facility this week by operators Fife Sports and Leisure Trust for their "valued customers", stated that, from July 27, it would close three hours earlier – at 5pm – on both Saturday and Sunday.

The six-hour reduction in opening times is being implemented as part of what the trust says is "part of a savings strategy" but Dunfermline Water Polo Club and Fife Synchronised Swimming Club – who both use the centre's swimming pools between 5-8pm on Sunday evenings – say that the decision could hit the clubs hard.

Meetings are set to take place between the centre's management and the clubs to find a solution and Lesley Bloomer, a coach with Fife Synchronised Swimming Club, who, ironically, are participating in a novice competition at Carnegie on Saturday that runs between 1-7pm, said: "It was disappointing that we weren't informed or consulted about these changes before they were made.

"But we look forward to meeting with the centre manager on Friday. We work well with the centre manager and his staff, and it is important that we try to find a solution.

"We are a fast-growing club, that particularly targets the teenage girl market, and it is particularly important to keep them exercising."

Dunfermline Water Polo Club, who will contest five of six finals at the Scottish National Water Polo Cup Championships in Glasgow next weekend, host training for their junior section – which has produced several players for both Scotland and Great Britain – during the soon-to-be-axed time slot.

While they also said they would be meeting with centre bosses, they said any such move would affect their existing six hours of pool access a week and would present a "big worry" for the continued development of its players.

Wendy Watson, chief operating officer for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: "As a charitable trust, Fife Sports and Leisure Trust is reliant on its partner, Fife Council, for funding and has a service agreement with the council in order that an adequate management fee is provided for an agreed level of sports and leisure services provision for local communities.

"As part of a savings strategy, the trust is redesigning its service to address the management fee funding pressures.

"The redesign programme will involve a six-hour reduction in weekend opening hours at Carnegie Leisure Centre to reduce the cost base whilst minimising impact to customers.

"The change to operating hours at weekends has been selected because it has the least amount of impact on customers. In addition, the trust will relocate bookings and signpost customers to alternative times for usage.

"Staff at the centre are currently engaging with a number of clubs which regularly use the centre and it will accommodate all those affected with alternative time slots.

"The trust is committed to minimising any impact to customers so that access to affordable sports and leisure opportunities is delivered, allowing local people to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity."