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Health clubs and gyms need more support to survive delay to Step 4
POSTED 15 Jun 2021 . BY Tom Walker
Huw Edwards said the delay to Step 4 must go hand-in-hand with additional support Credit: ukactive
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a four-week delay to Step 4 – the final lockdown easing
ukactive said the government must now couple the delay with financial help for health clubs
ukactive CEO Huw Edwards detailed the assistance the industry was calling for
The measures include the ring-fencing of COVID-related arrears
Operating a further four weeks at reduced capacity will place serious pressure on English fitness facilities – if the government doesn't urgently provide additional financial support.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (14 June) confirmed a four-week delay to Step 4 – the final easing of lockdown measures – saying the extra time could prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Following the announcement, industry body, ukactive, said the government must couple the delay with adequate help to safeguard the future of health clubs, gyms and leisure centres in England.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We respect the government’s safety considerations and the decision to delay the relaxing of restrictions in England until 19 July.

"However, it is imperative that this comes hand-in-hand with additional support for our nation’s fitness and leisure facilities.

“Today’s delay means gyms, pools and leisure centres will continue to operate at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, so we call on the Government to urgently set out its plans for business support."

Edwards also detailed the assistance the industry was calling for.

“Our members are facing a cliff-edge moment on 1 July, when the moratorium of forfeiture comes to an end and business rates are set to be reintroduced.

“Employer contributions to furlough payments recommencing from 1 July only adds to the perfect storm facing the fitness and leisure sector.

“An estimated 400 facilities across the sector had closed by the end of the first quarter in 2021, and thousands more will be at risk of closure if the Government does not commit to a solution on rent.

“We require an urgent response from the Government to the recommendations set out in our sector consultation, including the ring-fencing of COVID-related arrears, the reduction of rent due during closures and restricted trading, and an extension to the current date for lifting protection measures.

“In addition, we have called for phase two of the National Leisure Recovery Fund which is desperately needed by public operators, as well as VAT relief for private operators.

“Gyms, pools and leisure facilities have set the benchmark for safety standards and transparency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and our members will continue to respect the Government’s guidance during this period, but they must receive the financial support they need to both survive and recover.”
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Health clubs and gyms need more support to survive delay to Step 4
POSTED 15 Jun 2021 . BY Tom Walker
Huw Edwards said the delay to Step 4 must go hand-in-hand with additional support Credit: ukactive
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a four-week delay to Step 4 – the final lockdown easing
ukactive said the government must now couple the delay with financial help for health clubs
ukactive CEO Huw Edwards detailed the assistance the industry was calling for
The measures include the ring-fencing of COVID-related arrears
Operating a further four weeks at reduced capacity will place serious pressure on English fitness facilities – if the government doesn't urgently provide additional financial support.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (14 June) confirmed a four-week delay to Step 4 – the final easing of lockdown measures – saying the extra time could prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Following the announcement, industry body, ukactive, said the government must couple the delay with adequate help to safeguard the future of health clubs, gyms and leisure centres in England.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We respect the government’s safety considerations and the decision to delay the relaxing of restrictions in England until 19 July.

"However, it is imperative that this comes hand-in-hand with additional support for our nation’s fitness and leisure facilities.

“Today’s delay means gyms, pools and leisure centres will continue to operate at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, so we call on the Government to urgently set out its plans for business support."

Edwards also detailed the assistance the industry was calling for.

“Our members are facing a cliff-edge moment on 1 July, when the moratorium of forfeiture comes to an end and business rates are set to be reintroduced.

“Employer contributions to furlough payments recommencing from 1 July only adds to the perfect storm facing the fitness and leisure sector.

“An estimated 400 facilities across the sector had closed by the end of the first quarter in 2021, and thousands more will be at risk of closure if the Government does not commit to a solution on rent.

“We require an urgent response from the Government to the recommendations set out in our sector consultation, including the ring-fencing of COVID-related arrears, the reduction of rent due during closures and restricted trading, and an extension to the current date for lifting protection measures.

“In addition, we have called for phase two of the National Leisure Recovery Fund which is desperately needed by public operators, as well as VAT relief for private operators.

“Gyms, pools and leisure facilities have set the benchmark for safety standards and transparency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and our members will continue to respect the Government’s guidance during this period, but they must receive the financial support they need to both survive and recover.”
RELATED STORIES
Government 'needs to set out business support' to avoid cliff-edge moment for fitness sector


The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its COVID-19 lockdown exit plan.
'Breakthrough moment' for exercise referral


Industry body, ukactive, has published new data from the National ReferAll Database (NRD) – the UK’s first open access database for exercise referral schemes.
Survey confirms huge takeup of digital during lockdowns


The combining of physical and digital has been playing an important role in membership-based fitness businesses, according to a new global customer survey by Virtuagym.
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Exclusive: HCM talks to Rainer Schaller about buying Gold’s Gym
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Arena gets US$5.2m seed financing to enter connected strength training market
Fitness startup Arena Innovation has secured US$5.2m worth of seed funding, as it looks to launch its robotically-assisted resistance training product to the market.
EuropeActive to publish new study on COVID-19 cases and health club visits
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