PRICES are set to go up at a popular country park as it works towards becoming self-funding.
Fees will be marginally increased at Staunton Country Park in Havant.
The park is owned by Hampshire County Council and is funded by the taxpayer to the tune of around £207,000 a year.
But, in the face of tighter budgets, county leaders are hoping the park can eventually finance itself.
A report from Gordon Gardner, park manager, stated that to achieve self-funding the park would need to make an extra £200,000 a year – comprising increased income and reduced overheads.
Councillors on Staunton’s management committee had the option of increasing the price for children aged three to 15 years from £3 to £4.95.
However, they decided to increase it to £3.50.
Other prices going up are a family ticket from £19 to £21, adult entry from £7.25 to £7.50, and concessions and students from £6.25 to £6.50. Parking is set to go up from £2 to £2.50.
An angling day ticket will go up from £8 to £10 if booked in advance.
County councillor Liz Fairhurst, the chairwoman of the park’s committee, said Staunton was still great value and offered new facilities such as the indoor play area and butterfly zone.
She said: ‘The offer to children has gone up tremendously.
‘There’s now the indoor play area and you would pay more than the day ticket at a commercial enterprise.
‘The children’s prices have not been raised for a long time. What we have done is give them a lot more stuff.
‘It’s always regrettable to raise prices – but actually the country park needs the money. We want to move forward and develop new things.’
Cllr Fairhurst added that membership was increasing as families looked to save money.