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Leisure: Finance

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL6306, tabled on 30 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by ukactive and Community Leisure UK that nearly half of all public leisure centres could close permanently between now and the end of the year due to an estimated shortfall of over £800 million; and what steps they will take to prevent this from happening.

Answered on

8 July 2020

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health.

The Government is in discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to restart grassroots sport and will update the public when it is deemed safe to reopen sports venues. Grassroots sports facilities like leisure centres are also important parts of their communities and deliver vital health and wellbeing benefits.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for. Further guidance will follow on the principle of the scheme.