CIMSPA and CLUK respond to the First Minister’s announcement on the fitness and leisure sector in Scotland




CIMSPA and Community Leisure UK (CLUK) are working closely in partnership, together with sportscotland and others, to engage the Scottish Government and facilitate the safe reopening of the sector in Scotland.

We also continue to make the case to the Scottish Government of the overall value of the fitness and leisure sector. Latest figures indicate that public leisure provision contributes £334m in social value to the Scottish economy every year measured through savings to the NHS as well as improved wellbeing and mental health (source: 4Global Datahub). In Scotland specifically, without financial support of £120m, over 90% of public leisure is at risk without relief funding.

Professor Nanette Mutrie, Chair of Physical Activity for Health at the University of Edinburgh, said:

“The leisure industry must be saved if we are to prevent an increasing cost burden for the NHS in dealing with increasing obesity, type 2 diabetes and poor mental health which loss of activity will create. Money used to save such facilities, which are in danger of permanent closure due to the impact of the pandemic, must be seen as an investment and as future cost saving to the NHS. Public leisure facilities need to re-open in order that the health benefits of activity are available to all and all age groups and not just to those who can afford a private membership.”

Mark Tweedie, Chief Executive of Community Leisure UK, said:

"Without emergency relief funding, charitable leisure and cultural trusts who operate 90% of public leisure services across Scotland risk insolvency jeopardising hundreds of community leisure centres and thousands of jobs. Communities without leisure centres are unimaginable, so we are reaching out to everyone to unite behind our #saveleisure campaign for specific fixed term Government financial support to save Scotland's leisure centres. Public leisure centres feature at the heart of communities – they play an essential part in supporting health and wellbeing and help to reduce escalating costs to the NHS and social services. We know the UK Government are considering additional financial support to protect the UK leisure sector from the devastating impact of Covid-19, and we welcome the recent DCMS Select Committee report highlighting the urgent need for funding to preserve leisure facilities and community based services."

Tara Dillon, CIMSPA CEO, said:

"With indoor facilities now able to open in England, it is frustrating that we do not yet have a date for the same to happen in Scotland. This is a sector that creates enormous economic, health, social and community benefits, but it's one of the last to reopen. This has created huge financial challenges and we will continue to work with our partners to urge the Scottish Government to provide financial support to protect businesses and the workforce, while we work to enable reopening to safely take place."

 

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity


CIMSPA's work enhances the career opportunities and professional development of the workforce operating in sport, fitness, exercise, leisure, gym, coaching, health and wellbeing. We achieve this through sector-wide engagement, membership, networking, events, directories and professional standards.
 

Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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