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Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Government 'needs to set out business support' to avoid cliff-edge moment for fitness sector

The government needs to offer further support to fitness businesses if it delays lifting of remaining COVID-19 restrictions on 21 June
Step 4 has been set to coincide with the end of a range of financial relief measures
ukactive said fitness and leisure facilities face a cliff-edge moment if "freedom day" is delayed without extra support
More than 400 gyms, pools and leisure centres in the UK have already been forced to close permanently

The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan.

All restrictions on social distancing in England are set to be lifted on 21 June – a date dubbed as "freedom day" – and the government will decide on 14 June whether it will go ahead as planned.

Rising numbers of coronavirus cases and the emergence of the new “Delta variant” have, however, resulted in speculation that the final stage of England's lockdown will be pushed back.

According to reports, chancellor Rishi Sunak is willing to accept a “short delay” to Step 4, while communities secretary Robert Jenrick said that, as coronavirus cases are "clearly rising", Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reviewing a range of data to make a decision on the lifting of restrictions.

According to ukactive, any delay in the roadmap – if paired with no extra support being issued to businesses – could cause a disastrous "perfect storm" for the physical activity sector, as Step 4 has been set to coincide with the end of a range of financial relief measures.

The industry body said fitness and leisure facilities face a "cliff-edge moment" on 1 July, when the moratorium of forfeiture comes to an end, business rates are set to be reintroduced, and employer contributions to furlough payments recommence.

ukactive has sent the government a list of recommendations, which include the ring-fencing of COVID-related arrears, the reduction of rent due during closures and restricted trading, and an extension to the current date for lifting protection measures.

An estimated 400 physical activity facilities had closed by the end of the first quarter in 2021, and thousands more will be at risk of closure if the government does not commit to a solution on rent urgently.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We fully respect the government’s safety considerations for the timing of Step 4, however, any delay to reopening must go hand-in-hand with additional support for our nation’s fitness and leisure facilities.

“Decisions that prioritise the health of our communities must include the essential service provided by gyms, pools and leisure facilities.

“More than 400 gyms, pools and leisure centres in the UK have already been forced to close, depriving communities of local provision and exacerbating inequalities in physical, mental and social health.

“We have made a clear case for extended financial and regulatory support, and the government now has the power to remove the threat of rent arrears, extend VAT relief to our sector, and provide a second phase of the National Leisure Recovery Fund.

“Now is the time for the Government to begin delivering on the health commitments made in the Queen’s Speech, by providing the support necessary for our fitness and leisure facilities to survive and recover fully.

“Our sector has demonstrated incredible professionalism and the highest standards of safety throughout the pandemic, and stands ready to reopen fully so it can maximise its impact on the mental and physical recovery of our communities.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan.
SAR,WAT,SWM,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2021/THUMB347922_421830_63256.jpg
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News

Government 'needs to set out business support' to avoid cliff-edge moment for fitness sector

The government needs to offer further support to fitness businesses if it delays lifting of remaining COVID-19 restrictions on 21 June
Step 4 has been set to coincide with the end of a range of financial relief measures
ukactive said fitness and leisure facilities face a cliff-edge moment if "freedom day" is delayed without extra support
More than 400 gyms, pools and leisure centres in the UK have already been forced to close permanently

The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan.

All restrictions on social distancing in England are set to be lifted on 21 June – a date dubbed as "freedom day" – and the government will decide on 14 June whether it will go ahead as planned.

Rising numbers of coronavirus cases and the emergence of the new “Delta variant” have, however, resulted in speculation that the final stage of England's lockdown will be pushed back.

According to reports, chancellor Rishi Sunak is willing to accept a “short delay” to Step 4, while communities secretary Robert Jenrick said that, as coronavirus cases are "clearly rising", Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reviewing a range of data to make a decision on the lifting of restrictions.

According to ukactive, any delay in the roadmap – if paired with no extra support being issued to businesses – could cause a disastrous "perfect storm" for the physical activity sector, as Step 4 has been set to coincide with the end of a range of financial relief measures.

The industry body said fitness and leisure facilities face a "cliff-edge moment" on 1 July, when the moratorium of forfeiture comes to an end, business rates are set to be reintroduced, and employer contributions to furlough payments recommence.

ukactive has sent the government a list of recommendations, which include the ring-fencing of COVID-related arrears, the reduction of rent due during closures and restricted trading, and an extension to the current date for lifting protection measures.

An estimated 400 physical activity facilities had closed by the end of the first quarter in 2021, and thousands more will be at risk of closure if the government does not commit to a solution on rent urgently.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We fully respect the government’s safety considerations for the timing of Step 4, however, any delay to reopening must go hand-in-hand with additional support for our nation’s fitness and leisure facilities.

“Decisions that prioritise the health of our communities must include the essential service provided by gyms, pools and leisure facilities.

“More than 400 gyms, pools and leisure centres in the UK have already been forced to close, depriving communities of local provision and exacerbating inequalities in physical, mental and social health.

“We have made a clear case for extended financial and regulatory support, and the government now has the power to remove the threat of rent arrears, extend VAT relief to our sector, and provide a second phase of the National Leisure Recovery Fund.

“Now is the time for the Government to begin delivering on the health commitments made in the Queen’s Speech, by providing the support necessary for our fitness and leisure facilities to survive and recover fully.

“Our sector has demonstrated incredible professionalism and the highest standards of safety throughout the pandemic, and stands ready to reopen fully so it can maximise its impact on the mental and physical recovery of our communities.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan.
SAR,WAT,SWM,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2021/THUMB347922_421830_63256.jpg

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HCM Magazine
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Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
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Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Les Mills is launching a new digital network called Les Mills Connect to help clubs build back better and emerge from the pandemic with a stronger business
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Lots of companies find themselves having to let go of assets, which provides an opportunity for M&A the likes of which we’re not likely to see again in our working lifetime
HCM magazine
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Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers that provides powerful tools to schedule activities, manage member payments, and monitor heart rate both for remote and on-site classes.
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
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Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
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Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
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Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd