Gyms and Leisure

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th September 2022.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help improve the affordability of leisure centres and gyms for low-income households.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and everyone, regardless of their background, should have access to and benefit from quality sport and physical activity opportunities. Leisure centres and gyms are not just great places to be active, they also provide vital social spaces and community hubs.

Throughout the pandemic, the government provided the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country, protecting access to these facilities for those who most needed them.

Sport England has developed tools and guidance to assist local authorities with the strategic planning of leisure facilities and services to encourage low-income and other disadvantaged groups to be active in the facilities they operate for their communities. This guidance assists local authorities to determine what the local strategic outcomes and priorities are for their area and the local residents. Local Authorities and their operating partners are encouraged to consider how concessionary pricing and other subsidised activities can help in achieving this.

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