Leaders from more than 100 sport and physical activity bodies have sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting an urgent support package for the sector – or risk fuelling physical inactivity and related illnesses for a generation.
The letter, led by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Chair of ukactive, and Andrew Moss, Chairman of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, highlights a report published by Sport England and Sheffield Hallam University last month that showed every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the English economy.
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.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’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.”