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Gyms on the high street – it's a go!
POSTED 31 Jul 2020 . BY Tom Walker
The new rules will mean commercial and retail properties in town centres can be quickly repurposed as leisure facilities Credit: Shutterstock.com/fotosparrow
Gyms will be free to open on high streets across England from September 1, following changes to legislation, following intense lobbying from industry body, ukactive, supported by the industry.

HCM highlighted the issue earlier this month.

The new laws are designed to revitalise town centres and will create a huge opportunity for gym operators to extend operations into areas of higher visibility and to build more consumer-centric brands.

The changes relate to the Use Classes Order regulation, which has obstructed gyms and leisure facilities from opening. The new rules will mean commercial and retail properties can be quickly repurposed to help revive high streets.

A Commercial, Business and Service E Use Class will be created, which will enable health clubs, gyms, restaurants and a wide range of other leisure operators move into retail units without requiring a planning application or local authority approval.

In addition to allowing gyms to open, a new ‘Local Community’ F2 Use Class will also be created, which will recognise the central role that outdoor sports and swimming pools play in servicing the essential needs of local communities.

ukactive had argued for changes to allow the physical activity sector to revitalise ailing high streets.

“We welcome these reforms as a positive step for the long-term success of our sector, despite the challenging climate we face today," said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.

“This amendment to the Use Classes Order marks a victory for ukactive and its members in our ambition for physical activity to play a more central role in our nation’s physical, mental and economic health.

“To date, our sector’s potential to regenerate town centres and improve community health has been stifled by archaic town planning regulations which made it difficult for gyms and leisure providers to open new facilities on the high street."

Announced by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, the reforms are designed to alleviate some of the restrictive aspects of the 1987 Use Classes Order, which made it increasingly difficult for high streets and town centres to diversify their offers and adapt to changing consumer demands.
RELATED STORIES
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The UK's gym operators could thrive in town centre locations, helping to bring life back to places where retailing has retreated, says industry body, ukactive.
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.
FEATURE: SM People: Huw Edwards


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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Gyms on the high street – it's a go!
POSTED 31 Jul 2020 . BY Tom Walker
The new rules will mean commercial and retail properties in town centres can be quickly repurposed as leisure facilities Credit: Shutterstock.com/fotosparrow
Gyms will be free to open on high streets across England from September 1, following changes to legislation, following intense lobbying from industry body, ukactive, supported by the industry.

HCM highlighted the issue earlier this month.

The new laws are designed to revitalise town centres and will create a huge opportunity for gym operators to extend operations into areas of higher visibility and to build more consumer-centric brands.

The changes relate to the Use Classes Order regulation, which has obstructed gyms and leisure facilities from opening. The new rules will mean commercial and retail properties can be quickly repurposed to help revive high streets.

A Commercial, Business and Service E Use Class will be created, which will enable health clubs, gyms, restaurants and a wide range of other leisure operators move into retail units without requiring a planning application or local authority approval.

In addition to allowing gyms to open, a new ‘Local Community’ F2 Use Class will also be created, which will recognise the central role that outdoor sports and swimming pools play in servicing the essential needs of local communities.

ukactive had argued for changes to allow the physical activity sector to revitalise ailing high streets.

“We welcome these reforms as a positive step for the long-term success of our sector, despite the challenging climate we face today," said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.

“This amendment to the Use Classes Order marks a victory for ukactive and its members in our ambition for physical activity to play a more central role in our nation’s physical, mental and economic health.

“To date, our sector’s potential to regenerate town centres and improve community health has been stifled by archaic town planning regulations which made it difficult for gyms and leisure providers to open new facilities on the high street."

Announced by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, the reforms are designed to alleviate some of the restrictive aspects of the 1987 Use Classes Order, which made it increasingly difficult for high streets and town centres to diversify their offers and adapt to changing consumer demands.
RELATED STORIES
UK should follow the US in allowing gyms on the high street


The UK's gym operators could thrive in town centre locations, helping to bring life back to places where retailing has retreated, says industry body, ukactive.
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.
FEATURE: SM People: Huw Edwards


Huw Edwards urges government to invest in physical activity
MORE NEWS
Members flock to gyms at midnight as the industry reopens
Gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and fitness studios in England are back in business today as the one-month lockdown ends.
COVID-19 impact report: gyms 'prioritised' in all three tiers due to fear of falling physical activity levels
The UK government has published its impact report for the three-tier COVID-19 alert system, which will be introduced in England tomorrow (2 December), when the one-month long national lockdown comes to an end.
Chris Whitty: physical activity must play key role in nation’s recovery
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, has said exercise and physical activity should play a key role in the UK's recovery from the pandemic – as well as the way the nation shapes its future health care plans.
'Rebel' uk gym owner Nick Whitcombe becoming global advocate for fitness
Nick Whitcombe, the independent gym owner who refused to shut his gym during the October tier 3 restrictions, is becoming a fitness industry campaigner of international renown.
The fitness industry can drive the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic, says Huw Edwards
This year's UK government Spending Review, announced in Parliament by chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25 November, offers the physical activity sector opportunities to "transform communities", according to industry body, ukactive.
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DIARY

 

01-02 Dec 2020

MIPIM Asia Summit

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hong Kong SAR
01-03 Dec 2020

Self-Care and Personal Sustainability Summit

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Massachusetts, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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