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Forty per cent of council areas at risk of leisure centre and swimming pool closures and restrictions before April without immediate support

Two men running next to each other on treadmills in a gym

Forty per cent of council areas are at risk of losing their leisure centres and swimming pools within five months – or seeing services rationalised – due to the sector’s growing energy crisis, industry leaders have warned.

New figures from ukactive project that without government intervention, large numbers of public sector leisure facilities are unlikely to make it through to next spring, with service restrictions and facility closures already growing across the UK.

A new consultation with national public leisure operators asked ukactive members to risk assess the current threat to their facilities.

The findings show:

  • 40% of council areas are at risk of losing their leisure centre(s) or seeing reduced services at their leisure centre(s) before 31 March 2023
  • Three quarters (74%) of council areas are classified as ‘unsecure’, meaning there is risk of the closure of leisure centres and/or reduced services before 31 March 2024.

Industry leaders are calling for immediate support to avoid significant closures – support that cannot wait until the outcome of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme review from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which will not be implemented until April 2023.