Community Leisure UK ezine
November 2020
Activity sector unites to push back over Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan

25 Sep 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's proposals to support the economy through the next six months of the pandemic "are not enough" to secure the future of the physical activity sector.

Sunak's Winter Economy Plan – revealed in parliament yesterday (24 September) – will, among other measures, replace the current furlough scheme with a new Job Support Scheme (JSS).

Under the JSS, which comes into effect for six months on 1 November, the government will cover some of the wages of employees who are working at least 33 per cent of their normal hours.

Meanwhile, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended to support traders who are facing reduced demand over the winter months, covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits via a government grant.

For businesses, there is a new “pay as you grow”, flexible repayment system, which will allow companies extend their bounce back loans – taken during the pandemic – from six to 10 years while reducing their payments.

Businesses can also move to interest-only payments or suspend repayments for six months if they are "in real trouble". Credit ratings will be unaffected.

• To learn more about the measures in the Winter Economy Plan, click here to read the full HM Treasury document.

According to physical activity sector leaders, however, the measures – while welcomed – fall short of the support needed to keep the sector alive.

"The measures announced today by the Chancellor will provide some relief to the fitness and leisure sector," said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.

"However, we must now see urgent tailored support for our survival.

“The new Job Support Scheme and extension to the SEISS is important, but with many workers still on furlough, thousands of jobs remain under threat and we await more detail on these areas.

“The extension of government-backed loans schemes, and changes to the terms of repayment for Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, will help with cashflow, alongside new payment schemes for deferred VAT.

“However, we cannot have a situation where once again hospitality and tourism are prioritised over the fitness and leisure sector, which to date has received no tailored support despite being forced to close for a prolonged period during lockdown.

“Our sector requires a complete support package that not only includes core funding, but also stimulus including VAT relief and ringfenced funding for public leisure operators.
“There is no trade-off between health and the economy when it comes to investing in our sector, and we will continue to work urgently with the Government to ensure our members get the support they need.”

Tara Dillon, chief executive of CIMSPA, added: “Any extension of support for businesses struggling through no fault of their own is welcome, but we fear this package on its own will not go far enough in protecting many parts of the fitness and leisure sector, especially community facilities.

“One third of public gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools have not been able to reopen, due to lost revenues during lockdown and ongoing restrictions on numbers. These facilities, which were thriving before Covid-19, employ thousands of people and also provide essential health, wellbeing and social services, often in some of the most disadvantaged communities. If lost now, these facilities could be lost for many years to come.

“We continue to call on the government to provide further, targeted support for the sector, including core funding similar to that provided to the arts sector, ring fenced funding for public leisure operators and a stimulus including VAT relief.

“With many self-employed workers in our sector, we will also be seeking further clarity on the extension of the SEISS, and are concerned that many are still not eligible for any financial assistance from the government.”

Latest member news
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As part of a restructure of the organisation, two new colleagues, Rachel Sim and Theo Jobst, are also joining the organisation as project and research officers.


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more Community Leisure UK member news >>
Latest industry news from
04 Nov 2020
ukactive reveals details of new Active Standard, launching in 2021
Physical activity body, ukactive, has revealed plans to create a new sector standard for active leisure, to act as a product and service quality trademark.

03 Nov 2020
Physical activity fights back. Organisations challenge lockdown and suggest "Get fit to fight COVID' campaign as an alternative
The sport and physical activity sector is mounting a challenge to government plans to shut down the sector during "Lockdown 2", set to come into force on 5 November.

03 Nov 2020
New TimeTogether campaign to get teenage girls and mums physically active
A new national campaign aims to bridge the physical activity gender gap between women and men by empowering daughters and mums to get active together.

29 Oct 2020
Boris Johnson pledges his support for £70m Cheshire Vision project
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged his support for plans to build a £70m world class football facility in Northwich, Cheshire.

26 Oct 2020
Lockdown's full impact on participation revealed by Sport England's new Active Lives results
Gains made getting people more physically active over the last few years were all but 'cancelled out' during the first seven weeks of lockdown, according to Sport England.

22 Oct 2020
UK leisure centres can bid for £100m of government support
The UK government has pledged to invest £100m in supporting public leisure centres this winter, as part of a £1bn additional support package for local councils.

14 Oct 2020
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13 Oct 2020
HCM challenges UK government’s COVID-19 strategy
The UK government should encourage people to spend more time in regulated environments to curb the second wave of the pandemic, rather than shutting them down as part of local lockdowns, according to HCM editor, Liz Terry.

more industry news >>
All weekly HR and finance meetings have been ceased. Special Interest Group and regional / national members meetings up to the end of December have been scheduled as per the schedule below. This schedule may be added to and most meetings for this calendar year will take place online.
Community Leisure Wales meeting
10th November 2020
SIG Swimming & Aquatics (England & Wales)
12th November 2020
SIG HR (All home nations)
12th November 2020
Community Leisure UK AGM & EXEC MEETING
30th November 2020
Community Leisure UK Conference
8th December 2020
North East & Yorkshire regional meeting
9th December 2020
Single Sites Meeting (England & Wales)
9th December 2020
The above schedule is supplemented by a weekly reopening knowledge share webinar (Fridays 1-2pm) which will continue for the remainder of September.
For more information, please contact [email protected]
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Location: RHS Garden Bridgewater, Salford, Manchester
Company: Royal Horticultural Society
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Assistant Manager
Salary: £20K Basic circa
Location: Leeds, UK
Company: Coach Gyms
Read more and apply
Membership Consultant
Salary: £15k basic + commission + Bonus
Location: Leeds, UK
Company: Coach Gyms
Read more and apply
Membership Experience Team Member
Salary: Competitive
Location: Rugby, UK
Company: Xercise4Less
Read more and apply
Train as a Les Mills Instructor
Location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
Company: Les Mills
Read more and apply
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Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
National Fitness Awards 2020
Leicester, United Kingdom
03-03 Dec 2020
Retention Convention 2020
09 Dec 2020
Health, Fitness and Wellness Leadership Summit (APAC)
Singapore, Singapore
02-04 Feb 2021
Spatex 2021
Coventry, United Kingdom
23-26 Feb 2021
Tecnova Piscinas
Madrid, Spain
03-04 Mar 2021
Birmingham, United Kingdom
03-06 Jun 2021
more diary dates >>
Contact Community Leisure UK

Kirsty Cumming, Chief Executive

Tel: 020 7250 8263
[email protected]
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