“The LGA has been making the case for long-term funding to ensure leisure facilities can continue to provide vital services for low income communities."
Responding to a letter signed by more than 100 leaders from the physical activity sector calling for the Prime Minister to ring fence funding or risk creating health problems for a generation, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“Councils across the country are providing their communities with access to sport and leisure facilities to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles.
“However, COVID-19 and the need to socially distance has undermined their ability to generate income, and risks seeing many close permanently.
“The LGA has been making the case for long-term funding to ensure leisure facilities can continue to provide vital services for low income communities.
“As we look to recover from the coronavirus crisis, it is essential for the Government to provide funding to ensure that all communities have access to quality sports facilities and activities.”
- Councils are responsible for a third of swimming pools, 31 per cent of grass pitches; 13 per cent of sports halls; and almost one fifth of all health and fitness facilities.
- A report published by Sport England and Sheffield Hallam University this month showed that every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the English economy, providing an annual contribution of more than £85bn, with a social value – including physical and mental health and wellbeing, individual and community development – of more than £72bn.