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Wed, February 22, 2023

Coalition of sport bodies urge Prime Minister to support grassroots facilities amid ongoing energy crisis

Coalition of sport bodies urge Prime Minister to support grassroots facilities amid ongoing energy crisis

A coalition of more than 200 groups from the health, sport, fitness and leisure sectors have warned grassroots facilities and clubs are facing the “final straw” without greater support amid the ongoing energy crisis.

With energy costs relief for the UK’s swimming pools, leisure centres, sport centres, community facilities, and gyms ending on 31 March, thousands of facilities and clubs are at risk of permanent closure or reduced services, as public and private sector organisations of all sizes face unprecedented financial challenges with bills remaining up to 200% higher than normal. While libraries, museums and galleries will be eligible for extra help, pools and leisure centres will not be protected.

Figures compiled by trade body UK Active show that in the past year 29 leisure centres, pools or gyms have closed temporarily or permanently because of rising energy prices.

More than 300 others have mitigated against higher bills, including by reducing their hours, increasing their fees or lowering pool temperatures.

The group makes an "urgent plea" for the government to:

  • reclassify swimming pools as energy intensive so they have access to a higher level of discount on prices.
  • set out what "tangible support" it will provide to the wider sector to help navigate the energy crisis, warning the current approach will have "incredibly damaging consequences for our national health and prosperity".
  • set out a “plan for growth” for the sector by aligning the proposed new Sports Strategy with the Spring Budget to unlock the potential of the sector to support the economic, health, educational and social wellbeing of the nation.

Please click here to view the full letter and all the signatories. 

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