Gyms cannot lift the weight of rising energy bills

Bills for gym, pools and leisure facilities have increased by 150%, according to an industry group

Big Zero Report 2022

Gyms, leisure centres and pools might fall victim to energy crisis.

Non-for-profit industry association ukactive has warned against the threat to the nation’s health and wellbeing as the fitness sector is facing an energy bill hike of up to 150%.

It is estimated that combined gas and electricity costs of gym and leisure facilities for this year will rise by 100% compared to 2019.

Larger operators, such as facilities with swimming pools, are predicted to face an increase of up to 150%.

ukactive estimates that the total financial cost of rising energy bills for the whole sector this financial year will reach between £1 billion and £1.25 billion – up from around £500 million in 2019.

Huw Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of ukactive, said: “The government should be extremely concerned about both the health and economic impact of the energy crisis on fitness and leisure operators.

“Rising energy costs will have a disproportionate impact on our sector, particularly larger, energy-intensive gyms and leisure centres with swimming pools, which are now at major risk of closure.

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We recognise the impact rising global gas prices will have on businesses of all sizes, which is why we are in regular contact with Ofgem, business groups and energy suppliers to understand the challenges they face and see how they can best be supported.

“We have backed businesses throughout the pandemic with an unprecedented package of support including VAT cuts, business rates holidays and government-backed loans worth around £400 billion and we will continue to stand firmly behind them.”

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