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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

ukactive says thousands of fitness facilities and 100,000 jobs could disappear without government support

Thousands of UK leisure and fitness facilities could close permanently, as operators struggle to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to industry body, ukactive, there's mounting evidence that organisations are struggling to access loan support and are being crippled by ongoing utility fees, delayed furloughing funds and failed insurance claims. Some operators also face threats of eviction.

The evidence, obtained by ukactive in consultation with leaders from the nation’s major operators, show that – without immediate relief from the increasing financial burdens – an estimated 2,800 facilities could cease trading by the middle of June 2020. This would translate to up to 100,000 job losses across the UK.

Some operators warn they will only remain in business for another five weeks, due to the crippling combination of zero income and outstanding rental and overhead fees.

In response to the findings, ukactive has called on the government to save the physical activity sector by making financial support available immediately.

The body has urged the following steps to be taken urgently:

• Provide faster access to loan support, ensuring that banks move quickly and remove the barriers that are preventing fitness and leisure operators from reaching it now, when they need it most.

• Provide earlier access to funding within the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, making sure it is available in April to save up to 100,000 jobs by allowing organisations to furlough staff rather than make redundancies.

• Reduce the pressure from banks on landlords so that they can better support tenants from the physical activity sector, by removing the threat of winding up orders, Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery and statutory demand notices which threaten court action if rent is not paid within 21 days.

• Direct Local Authorities to provide flexibility and support in their contractual relationships with public leisure operators and trusts, as set out in the Government guidance published last month.

• Provide relief from utilities and wider business payments by removing these financial pressures.

Ensure that insurers abide by the content of their agreements and payout when organisations have cover for ‘business closure due to Government action’.

A failure to take these steps will, according to ukactive, result in the loss of crucial services from cities and towns across the UK – such as the closure of hundreds of swimming pools up and down the country and the loss of social prescribing and other community services.

In total, the predicted closures of leisure facilities would result in £2.8bn of social value being lost each year, based on the benefits provided to the population’s health and wellbeing.

“We're just weeks away from the closure of up to 2,800 fitness and leisure facilities, which play a crucial role in supporting our health, wellbeing and communities," said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.

“Our nation’s gyms and leisure centres form the fabric of our society, as well as contributing £7.7bn to the economy annually and employing one of the most passionate and dedicated workforces in the world.

“During the last recession, our sector bucked the trend and maintained its growth, providing a much-needed boost to our high streets and communities, so it is important that the Government recognises that contribution.

“If nothing is done and we say goodbye to our gyms and leisure centres it will have a devastating impact on our society when we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, at the precise time when these facilities will be needed desperately by people.

“If our leisure facilities are lost, it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild them and any recovery will be extremely slow and painful.

“The loss of our gyms and leisure centres would cause irreparable damage for those people who rely on their services most – community groups who find connection within their walls, children who need swimming lessons, and patients who rely on activity prescriptions to manage long-term illness or recovery.

“ukactive requires the Government to make the loans process faster and more accessible, to provide clear guidance to landlords on what they can do to support organisations in the sector, and to provide support on fixed business costs such and rates and utilities.

“The physical activity sector has shown its support for the nation during this crisis, reaching into homes with online workouts and redeploying staff to deliver supplies – now we need to work with Government to make sure it is still there when this is over.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Thousands of UK leisure and fitness facilities could close permanently, as operators struggle to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
PTS,SAR,WAT,HAF,FIT,IND,PUB
2020/THUMB345255_531141_153421.jpg
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News

ukactive says thousands of fitness facilities and 100,000 jobs could disappear without government support

Thousands of UK leisure and fitness facilities could close permanently, as operators struggle to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to industry body, ukactive, there's mounting evidence that organisations are struggling to access loan support and are being crippled by ongoing utility fees, delayed furloughing funds and failed insurance claims. Some operators also face threats of eviction.

The evidence, obtained by ukactive in consultation with leaders from the nation’s major operators, show that – without immediate relief from the increasing financial burdens – an estimated 2,800 facilities could cease trading by the middle of June 2020. This would translate to up to 100,000 job losses across the UK.

Some operators warn they will only remain in business for another five weeks, due to the crippling combination of zero income and outstanding rental and overhead fees.

In response to the findings, ukactive has called on the government to save the physical activity sector by making financial support available immediately.

The body has urged the following steps to be taken urgently:

• Provide faster access to loan support, ensuring that banks move quickly and remove the barriers that are preventing fitness and leisure operators from reaching it now, when they need it most.

• Provide earlier access to funding within the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, making sure it is available in April to save up to 100,000 jobs by allowing organisations to furlough staff rather than make redundancies.

• Reduce the pressure from banks on landlords so that they can better support tenants from the physical activity sector, by removing the threat of winding up orders, Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery and statutory demand notices which threaten court action if rent is not paid within 21 days.

• Direct Local Authorities to provide flexibility and support in their contractual relationships with public leisure operators and trusts, as set out in the Government guidance published last month.

• Provide relief from utilities and wider business payments by removing these financial pressures.

Ensure that insurers abide by the content of their agreements and payout when organisations have cover for ‘business closure due to Government action’.

A failure to take these steps will, according to ukactive, result in the loss of crucial services from cities and towns across the UK – such as the closure of hundreds of swimming pools up and down the country and the loss of social prescribing and other community services.

In total, the predicted closures of leisure facilities would result in £2.8bn of social value being lost each year, based on the benefits provided to the population’s health and wellbeing.

“We're just weeks away from the closure of up to 2,800 fitness and leisure facilities, which play a crucial role in supporting our health, wellbeing and communities," said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.

“Our nation’s gyms and leisure centres form the fabric of our society, as well as contributing £7.7bn to the economy annually and employing one of the most passionate and dedicated workforces in the world.

“During the last recession, our sector bucked the trend and maintained its growth, providing a much-needed boost to our high streets and communities, so it is important that the Government recognises that contribution.

“If nothing is done and we say goodbye to our gyms and leisure centres it will have a devastating impact on our society when we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, at the precise time when these facilities will be needed desperately by people.

“If our leisure facilities are lost, it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild them and any recovery will be extremely slow and painful.

“The loss of our gyms and leisure centres would cause irreparable damage for those people who rely on their services most – community groups who find connection within their walls, children who need swimming lessons, and patients who rely on activity prescriptions to manage long-term illness or recovery.

“ukactive requires the Government to make the loans process faster and more accessible, to provide clear guidance to landlords on what they can do to support organisations in the sector, and to provide support on fixed business costs such and rates and utilities.

“The physical activity sector has shown its support for the nation during this crisis, reaching into homes with online workouts and redeploying staff to deliver supplies – now we need to work with Government to make sure it is still there when this is over.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Thousands of UK leisure and fitness facilities could close permanently, as operators struggle to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
PTS,SAR,WAT,HAF,FIT,IND,PUB
2020/THUMB345255_531141_153421.jpg

News

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Planning approval has been granted for a new David Lloyd Club in Bicester, Oxfordshire. The
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Features
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With members stuck at home, now’s the perfect time to plan some cost-effective upgrades to your clubs. Suppliers explain how a flooring refresh could help attract members back in-club as the pandemic eases
Features
HCM research
The good news? People are changing their exercise habits in lockdown, becoming more active and spending more time exercising with their children, according to new research
Features
Promotional feature
Reaching members anywhere and anytime to connect, engage and coach is more important than ever and can easily be activated through Technogym Mywellness
Features
Coronavirus
As the sector looks into the void of the COVID-19 lockdown and its aftermath, Duncan Wood-Allum presents a blueprint for a positive future
Features
feature
Matrix Connected Solutions helps Roko deliver a digital member experience beyond the four walls of the clubs
Features
Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane
Features
Opinion
Myzone’s Tamara Bailey says finding a way through the coronavirus crisis will mean taking an honest look at how successful your member engagement really is
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Kate Cracknell talks connected health and digital transformation with Chris Blackwell-Frost, Martin Friend and Rick Crawford from Nuffield Health’s senior management team
People
HCM people

Professor Zhen Yan

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Opinion
promotion
Elon Musk has plans to conquer Mars and these days the meat on your hamburger can be grown in a lab - so why are so many fitness businesses still using papers and pens to create workouts for their members?
Opinion: How the current pandemic may be helping the fitness industry to innovate
Opinion
promotion
The activity industry finds itself in a position of considerable threat. Two-thirds of the world’s gyms are closed – that’s 230 million members unable to attend a fitness facility, according to data platform fitNdata.
Opinion: Ensuring members return after lockdown
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
Through our Life Fitness Solutions Partners, we can deliver design and build services, finance solutions, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-31 Aug 2020
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
11-12 Oct 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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