To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 174112, what data his Department holds on the effect of the National Leisure Recovery Fund on the rate of leisure centre closures since that funding was announced.
The National Leisure Recovery Fund sought to support eligible public sector leisure centres to reopen to the public, giving the sport and physical activity sector the best chance of recovery to a position of sustainable operation over the medium term. It was delivered in conjunction with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Sport England.
A total of £100 million was available as a biddable fund to eligible local authorities in England, which was allocated in a single funding round. Eligible local authorities include: those in England who hold responsibility for the provision of leisure services, those who have outsourced their leisure provision to an external body to and those whose outsourced leisure arrangements have ended since 20 March 2020 and services are now delivered as an in-house function. This is in addition to the wider financial support provided to councils throughout the pandemic.
As part of the National Leisure Recovery Fund, the government has set up a data capture system to show how the fund has supported the reopening of these vital community assets and the impact on the rate of participation across Local Authorities. Early information will be available at the end of the month and will help to inform future government policy in this space.