THE cost of taking part in sport and healthy activities has fallen in Scotland in the past year, according to a review.

The sportscotland report found that annual membership costs for gym use and swimming decreased by 10% across the country's 32 local authorities and their associated leisure trusts.

Youngsters playing golf saw their fees drop by 6.7%, while sport charges overall have only increased by 2.3% during the past five years, a figure lower than the rate of inflation.

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Meanwhile, the national sport agency has revealed details of almost £55 million invested in providing sports facilities to help create a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Eight of the 13 venues which will be used for the Glasgow Games, including the Emirates Arena and the refurbished Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, have received almost £31m funding while millions have also been spent on improving facilities for a wide range of sports.

Since 2007, when Glasgow was awarded the Commonwealth Games, £24m has been spent to refurbish a range of swimming, ­athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, rugby, shooting, squash and table tennis venues throughout Scotland that are not hosting Games events.

Stewart Harris, chief ­executive of sportscotland, said he was encouraged by the findings.

He said: "Scotland's ­sporting facilities are the best they have ever been, and the excitement of the Commonwealth Games is a unique opportunity for sportscotland to accelerate our drive to develop and support a world-class sporting system at all levels.

"It is essential that we connect the focus that will be on Scotland's high-performance athletes, with school, club and community development which will help to provide more and better opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity across the country."