17th November 2023
MJ Article: Creative solutions are emerging to enable the leisure sector to thrive, William Benson
“We’ve all felt the financial impact of rising energy bills and increasing costs over the last couple of years, but the consequences for the leisure sector, which faces particular energy demands, are threatening the survival of facilities which are vital to community health and wellbeing.
With bills for leisure centres up to 200% higher than normal, it’s not surprising that 31% of English council areas are at risk of losing or reducing their leisure services, according to UKactive, with 350 facilities already seeing restrictions or closures since October 2022.
Whilst recent challenges have been accentuated by Covid pandemic and the financial pressures associated with high energy prices and inflation, it is clear that problems have been building for some time against a backdrop of financial pressure on local authorities. These financial pressures, coupled with an associated lack of maintenance and investment, have led to a situation that will see many swimming pools becoming outdated or unviable by the end of the decade with up to 2,000 at risk of closure…”
Click here to read the full article by William Benson, Solace deputy spokesperson for finance, on the MJ.