GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Sports minister 'understands sentiments' behind Work Out to Help Out

Work Out to Help Out sceheme ruled out by government
Parliamentary debate on the initiative held after petition calling for it reaches 230,000 signatures
Number of MPs speak in favour of the scheme
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston says he "understands why so many have supported it"
I have had conversations with ukactive and others to see whether we can extend the VAT cut, which currently exists for the tourism and hospitality sectors
– Nigel Huddleston
Credit: Official portrait/HM Government

It is unlikely that the UK will see a Work Out to Help Out scheme being introduced, despite sports minister Nigel Huddleston saying he "understood" why so many people are backing one.

The scheme – which would offer people subsidised access to health clubs and leisure centres – has widespread support across the physical activity sector and the public, with nearly 230,000 people signing a petition calling for the government to fund the initiative.

The petition, started by HCM Editor Liz Terry MBE, resulted in a debate on the possibility of a Work Out to Help Out programme being held at the House of Commons on Monday (22 March 2021).

Based on the debate, there is also support for the scheme within Westminster, with a number of MPs backing it.

Numerous MPs spoke in favour of it, highlighting how fitness facilities played a crucial role in improving the nation's physical and mental health and also how the health and fitness sector had suffered badly from the pandemic lockdowns.

To watch a recording of the debate, click here

Sam Tarry, the Labour MP for Ilford South, made a particularly passionate call for a Work Out to Help Out initiative to be funded.

"The lockdowns have resulted in people being confined to their homes for months at a time, unable to exercise in the way they were previously accustomed to," he said.

"This has led to rising levels of obesity and mental health issues, which places further pressures on our NHS.

"There's also the impact on the health and fitness sector, which like so many other sectors, has been left in a perilous position, after suffering a sharp drop in revenues over the past 12 months.

"Health clubs and leisure centres should be recognised as wellbeing hubs and given the support they need to survive and help revive our nation's flagging physical and mental health.

"Nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme, which would see gym memberships, group exercise classes and personal training classes being subsidised, to offer more people access to health and fitness services.

"This would provide a timely economic boost to the active leisure industry and have a positive impact on the NHS, in terms of reducing the further strains in the future.

"And of course lift so many gyms and health clubs across the country off their knees."

Greg Smith, Tory MP for Buckingham was also in favour of the scheme.

"Gyms and leisure centres have become a lifeline for many people, including my constituents, many of who have signed the petition.

"The industry is one of the only sectors scientifically proven to be able to support our nation with underlying health conditions.

"Gyms, health clubs and leisure centres are – and must be – part of the COVID-19 solution and I would support a Work Out to Help Out scheme, as called for in the petition.

"A financial incentive that would encourage people to renew long-lapsed gym memberships and to support their local health clubs and leisure centres, either via a tax incentive, a VAT cut or holiday, or something similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – on a pay per use basis – would be good for the businesses as they make every effort to bounce back.

Smith also highlighted the safety record of health clubs – and said closing the sector during lockdowns had been "disappointing".

"Given health and fitness facilities' excellent track record on hygiene and safety – and the corresponding, extremely low incidence of people visiting gyms going on to test positive for COVID-19 – it was, we must acknowledge, a bitter pill that such severe limitations were placed on opportunities to exercise in a safe environment," Smith said.

"I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that the consequences to the physical and mental health of my constituents of these closures have been significant."

Responding to the calls, sports minister Nigel Huddleston recognised the importance of the sector and was sympathetic to the "sentiments being expressed".

He stopped short of endorsing the scheme, however, outlining how the government had provided the physical activity sector with financial support in a number of other ways.

"The importance of sport and physical activity has never been more important to the nation's physical and mental health," Huddleston said.

"They are a powerful defence against COVID-19 and in each of the lockdowns, this has been reflected in the government's approach with the importance of regular exercise being recognised and highlighted.

"I do understand why so many have supported the aim of the Work Out to Help Out scheme – and the sentiments behind it.

"But the government has provided support in other ways, including of course, through tax reliefs, cash grants, employee wage supports, loans and so on to ensure these facilities both survive and are then able to open again as part of Step 2 of the Roadmap."

He also said that further talks – including those with industry bodies, such as ukactive – regarding extra support were still ongoing.

"I know that honourable members have suggested other measures and I have had conversations with ukactive and others to see whether we can extend the VAT cut, which currently exists for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

"I could never make commitments on behalf of the Treasury, but I can tell you that conversations are taking place – but of course these are always subject to Treasury decisions and this is a challenging area.

"The government has also provided £100m worth of support for local authority leisure centres and Sport England provided £220million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic."

Prior to the debate, the government had provided an official response to the petition, saying: "We do not intend to fund a Work Out to Help Out Scheme.

"Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: “Seeing so many MPs endorsing the work of the health and fitness industry and the activity sector in Parliament was very powerful and it’s encouraging that the minister has confirmed the door is still open in relation to cuts in VAT for the sector – we should have a level playing field with hospitality and attractions.

“Lobbyists will continue to make an economic and social case for Work Out to Help Out and in the upcoming issue of HCM magazine, activist Nick Whitcombe explains that the scheme could make a net profit for government, while playing a major role in the rebound and revitalisation of the nation after lockdown.

“A sluggish workforce will not be fit the drive the economy, while mental healrh issues abound. We need a boost to get people back to activity, back to fitness and to reenergise the nation and we call on the government to examine this idea with an open mind and to do a cost benefit analysis as soon as possible.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
It is unlikely that the UK will see a Work Out to Help Out scheme being introduced, despite sports minister Nigel Huddleston saying he "understood" why so many people are backing one.
SAR,SWM,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2021/THUMB347405_357879_396732.jpg
Latest News
The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
Latest News
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show ...
Latest News
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of ...
Latest News
The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first ...
Latest News
The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled again and will now take ...
Latest News
Rainer Schaller, founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, says that the global fitness industry will ...
Latest News
The most high-risk and controversial Olympics of modern times begin today (23 July) in Tokyo, ...
Latest News
Further research into the levels of positive COVID-19 cases among those to have visited fitness ...
HCM Magazine
Research
30 minutes of exercise represents just two per cent of your entire day. Is it possible that our activity habits for just two per cent of the day are all that matter when it comes to health?
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Every gym design project should be designed from the floor up, says Physical Company’s James Anderson. He tells HCM why
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Game designers have figured out how to keep people unhealthily addicted to games. If only you could be the hero in a game that levelled up your life
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Jo Farrier, head of commercial and resources at Active Northumberland, talks about how a strategic partnership with Technogym is changing public perceptions of council leisure facilities
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
With gyms reopening as the fitness industry recovers from the impact of lockdowns, members are seeking social interaction and engaging training experiences in a small group setting
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
The pandemic has disrupted everything and as businesses across the leisure industry reshape themselves to survive and thrive, new competition is emerging that will change the sector
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Empowered Brands has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of a new chair and CEO following the untimely death of founder, Jan Spaticchia
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Stelian Iacob

Stelian Iacob, CEO and senior VP, Therme Group
We’re seeing a much greater focus on the need to integrate healthy living into daily life and reconnect with nature and each other
HCM magazine
Six months on from the launch of its Kickstart programme, The Gym Group is hiring the majority of trainees, as Liz Terry reports
HCM magazine
Premier Global NASM is setting personal trainers up for sustainable success with the launch of its online training bundle and app
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: A new world for memberships
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result, many are prioritising mental health and incorporating activity into their day to improve overall wellbeing.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
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
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

Sports minister 'understands sentiments' behind Work Out to Help Out

Work Out to Help Out sceheme ruled out by government
Parliamentary debate on the initiative held after petition calling for it reaches 230,000 signatures
Number of MPs speak in favour of the scheme
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston says he "understands why so many have supported it"
I have had conversations with ukactive and others to see whether we can extend the VAT cut, which currently exists for the tourism and hospitality sectors
– Nigel Huddleston
Credit: Official portrait/HM Government

It is unlikely that the UK will see a Work Out to Help Out scheme being introduced, despite sports minister Nigel Huddleston saying he "understood" why so many people are backing one.

The scheme – which would offer people subsidised access to health clubs and leisure centres – has widespread support across the physical activity sector and the public, with nearly 230,000 people signing a petition calling for the government to fund the initiative.

The petition, started by HCM Editor Liz Terry MBE, resulted in a debate on the possibility of a Work Out to Help Out programme being held at the House of Commons on Monday (22 March 2021).

Based on the debate, there is also support for the scheme within Westminster, with a number of MPs backing it.

Numerous MPs spoke in favour of it, highlighting how fitness facilities played a crucial role in improving the nation's physical and mental health and also how the health and fitness sector had suffered badly from the pandemic lockdowns.

To watch a recording of the debate, click here

Sam Tarry, the Labour MP for Ilford South, made a particularly passionate call for a Work Out to Help Out initiative to be funded.

"The lockdowns have resulted in people being confined to their homes for months at a time, unable to exercise in the way they were previously accustomed to," he said.

"This has led to rising levels of obesity and mental health issues, which places further pressures on our NHS.

"There's also the impact on the health and fitness sector, which like so many other sectors, has been left in a perilous position, after suffering a sharp drop in revenues over the past 12 months.

"Health clubs and leisure centres should be recognised as wellbeing hubs and given the support they need to survive and help revive our nation's flagging physical and mental health.

"Nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme, which would see gym memberships, group exercise classes and personal training classes being subsidised, to offer more people access to health and fitness services.

"This would provide a timely economic boost to the active leisure industry and have a positive impact on the NHS, in terms of reducing the further strains in the future.

"And of course lift so many gyms and health clubs across the country off their knees."

Greg Smith, Tory MP for Buckingham was also in favour of the scheme.

"Gyms and leisure centres have become a lifeline for many people, including my constituents, many of who have signed the petition.

"The industry is one of the only sectors scientifically proven to be able to support our nation with underlying health conditions.

"Gyms, health clubs and leisure centres are – and must be – part of the COVID-19 solution and I would support a Work Out to Help Out scheme, as called for in the petition.

"A financial incentive that would encourage people to renew long-lapsed gym memberships and to support their local health clubs and leisure centres, either via a tax incentive, a VAT cut or holiday, or something similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – on a pay per use basis – would be good for the businesses as they make every effort to bounce back.

Smith also highlighted the safety record of health clubs – and said closing the sector during lockdowns had been "disappointing".

"Given health and fitness facilities' excellent track record on hygiene and safety – and the corresponding, extremely low incidence of people visiting gyms going on to test positive for COVID-19 – it was, we must acknowledge, a bitter pill that such severe limitations were placed on opportunities to exercise in a safe environment," Smith said.

"I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that the consequences to the physical and mental health of my constituents of these closures have been significant."

Responding to the calls, sports minister Nigel Huddleston recognised the importance of the sector and was sympathetic to the "sentiments being expressed".

He stopped short of endorsing the scheme, however, outlining how the government had provided the physical activity sector with financial support in a number of other ways.

"The importance of sport and physical activity has never been more important to the nation's physical and mental health," Huddleston said.

"They are a powerful defence against COVID-19 and in each of the lockdowns, this has been reflected in the government's approach with the importance of regular exercise being recognised and highlighted.

"I do understand why so many have supported the aim of the Work Out to Help Out scheme – and the sentiments behind it.

"But the government has provided support in other ways, including of course, through tax reliefs, cash grants, employee wage supports, loans and so on to ensure these facilities both survive and are then able to open again as part of Step 2 of the Roadmap."

He also said that further talks – including those with industry bodies, such as ukactive – regarding extra support were still ongoing.

"I know that honourable members have suggested other measures and I have had conversations with ukactive and others to see whether we can extend the VAT cut, which currently exists for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

"I could never make commitments on behalf of the Treasury, but I can tell you that conversations are taking place – but of course these are always subject to Treasury decisions and this is a challenging area.

"The government has also provided £100m worth of support for local authority leisure centres and Sport England provided £220million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic."

Prior to the debate, the government had provided an official response to the petition, saying: "We do not intend to fund a Work Out to Help Out Scheme.

"Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from."

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: “Seeing so many MPs endorsing the work of the health and fitness industry and the activity sector in Parliament was very powerful and it’s encouraging that the minister has confirmed the door is still open in relation to cuts in VAT for the sector – we should have a level playing field with hospitality and attractions.

“Lobbyists will continue to make an economic and social case for Work Out to Help Out and in the upcoming issue of HCM magazine, activist Nick Whitcombe explains that the scheme could make a net profit for government, while playing a major role in the rebound and revitalisation of the nation after lockdown.

“A sluggish workforce will not be fit the drive the economy, while mental healrh issues abound. We need a boost to get people back to activity, back to fitness and to reenergise the nation and we call on the government to examine this idea with an open mind and to do a cost benefit analysis as soon as possible.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
It is unlikely that the UK will see a Work Out to Help Out scheme being introduced, despite sports minister Nigel Huddleston saying he "understood" why so many people are backing one.
SAR,SWM,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2021/THUMB347405_357879_396732.jpg

News

The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due
Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of
The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first
The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled again and will now take
Rainer Schaller, founder of budget gym megabrand McFIT, says that the global fitness industry will
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result,
The most high-risk and controversial Olympics of modern times begin today (23 July) in Tokyo,
Further research into the levels of positive COVID-19 cases among those to have visited fitness
Planning approval has been granted to what is set to become one of the first
Digital fitness content provider, Wexer, is launching a new wellness resource on its connected Web
Leisure-net has revealed plans to transform its active-net business event from an annual face-to-face gathering
F45's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has revealed a strong appetite from
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Post pandemic, technology continues to shape the way consumers access fitness. Apps and wearables are
A large health club plays a major role in tech giant Microsoft’s recently opened R&D
KA Leisure has appointed industry veteran Malcolm McPhail as its interim chief executive. McPhail, who
Aspria Holdings, owner of eight premium wellbeing clubs in Germany, Belgium and Italy, has entered
Vulnerable young people will be given opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity
Organisers of the Elevate event – scheduled to be held at London’s ExCeL on 28
Health clubs and fitness studios in South Korean capital city Seoul have been told to
Les Mills
Les Mills
Digital meets personal with the new Virtual Player from FunXtion, experts in interactive fitness, which
A consultation on social prescribing and other similar health programmes will look to "uncover the
A new study claims that being physically active for 30 minutes a day, five days
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
1 - 20 of 11,973
HCM Magazine
Research
30 minutes of exercise represents just two per cent of your entire day. Is it possible that our activity habits for just two per cent of the day are all that matter when it comes to health?
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Every gym design project should be designed from the floor up, says Physical Company’s James Anderson. He tells HCM why
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Game designers have figured out how to keep people unhealthily addicted to games. If only you could be the hero in a game that levelled up your life
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Jo Farrier, head of commercial and resources at Active Northumberland, talks about how a strategic partnership with Technogym is changing public perceptions of council leisure facilities
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
With gyms reopening as the fitness industry recovers from the impact of lockdowns, members are seeking social interaction and engaging training experiences in a small group setting
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
The pandemic has disrupted everything and as businesses across the leisure industry reshape themselves to survive and thrive, new competition is emerging that will change the sector
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Empowered Brands has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of a new chair and CEO following the untimely death of founder, Jan Spaticchia
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Stelian Iacob

Stelian Iacob, CEO and senior VP, Therme Group
We’re seeing a much greater focus on the need to integrate healthy living into daily life and reconnect with nature and each other
HCM magazine
Six months on from the launch of its Kickstart programme, The Gym Group is hiring the majority of trainees, as Liz Terry reports
HCM magazine
Premier Global NASM is setting personal trainers up for sustainable success with the launch of its online training bundle and app
HCM magazine
Rigs have been central to gyms for years. Now suppliers tell us how they’re evolving to meet the changing needs of clubs and clients
HCM magazine
The results from the first Moving Communities Customer Experience survey present a positive picture of overall satisfaction with local authority facilities, explains Mike Hill
HCM magazine
At all our John Reed locations globally, we link the fitness environment inside the club to the vibe of the community
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
“A great atmosphere is just as important to the fitness journey as the right workout routine, says LEDSnaps’ CEO, Ian Kirby
HCM magazine
GM Active has launched a training programme to create a new generation of transformational leaders, as Liz Terry reports
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: A new world for memberships
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result, many are prioritising mental health and incorporating activity into their day to improve overall wellbeing.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
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
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym