July 2024: Special issue
UK health club market hits record highs

06 Jun 2024

The UK health and fitness is performing well, especially the private sector, with member numbers, market value and penetration reaching all-time highs.

These are the key findings from Leisure DB, which launches its annual State of the UK Fitness Industry Report at the Evolve conference today (6 June), in London.

The report – which was previously only available for purchase – is available free of charge for the first time this year, since the company pivoted to sponsorship funding.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2024, Leisure DB says there was a slight rise in the number of gyms in its sample from 6,998 in 2023 to 7,009, a 0.2 per cent increase, although the number remains below the high of 7,239 in 2019.

The other key metrics are above both 2019 and 2023 levels. Across the UK, there's a penetration rate of 15.9 per cent when assessed against the entire population (up from 15.1 per cent the previous year), with 10.7 million people having a health club membership compared with 10.3 million in 2023.

Breaking down the 15.9 per cent penetration, the private sector has a double the penetration rate of the public sector with private delivering 10.9 per cent of the 15.9 per cent and the public attracting the remaining 5 per cent.

The market value is £5.9 billion, up from £5.4 billion the year before.

Leisure DB's market value number gives a year-on-year, like-for-like view of the sector and is calculated by multiplying the number of members with the rate for a single, peak membership. It does not account for discounting, off-peak rates and the impact of aggregators such as ClassPass and is not adjusted for inflation.

By number of gyms, PureGym is the largest UK private sector operator and GLL is the largest public operator. During the reporting period, three operators added 10 or more gyms to their estate: PureGym (34) Everyone Active (12) and JD Gyms (10).

Private sector

There are 4,513 private health clubs in the UK with 120 opening during the year and 129 closing as operators continue to reengineer their portfolios following the pandemic. Most of the closures were independent gyms – 45 of the new openings were low-cost.

Although there was a net decrease of nine clubs compared to the previous year, there's been a 5.1 per cent increase in membership to 7.33 million and a 10.9 per cent increase in market value to £4.48 billion. The penetration rate is the best yet, with 4.5 per cent of the UK population now members of a low-cost, private sector health club.

The top 10 private operators by number of clubs are: PureGym, The Gym Group, Anytime Fitness, Nuffield Fitness & Wellbeing, David Lloyd Clubs, Snap Fitness, JD Gyms, Bannatyne, Sports Direct Fitness and énergie Fitness. Between them they account for 30 per cent of all private clubs and more than 60 per cent of private sector membership and market value.

The biggest players are PureGym (379 sites) and The Gym Group (234) which have been largely responsible for pushing membership in the low-cost segment beyond three million this year. The biggest franchisors – Anytime Fitness, énergie Fitness and Snap Fitness – now have 324 clubs between them, down from 327 in 2023. They opened 21 clubs between them and closed 24. Drilling down into this, Snap Fitness has told HCM it gained six clubs last year.

Prices have gone up. For the first time the average low-cost monthly fee has risen above £24 and 89 per cent of all UK low-cost clubs now charge £20 or more a month. Those in London are the most expensive, charging an average of £30.10, compared with £23.05 outside the capital.

PureGym’s average fee is 4.5 per cent higher than last year and The Gym Group’s is up 9.3 per cent as part of its push to optimise market rates against its competitors.

David Lloyd has the highest average monthly membership – more than £150 – followed by Nuffield, starting at £85.

In the independent sector, there's been a reduction of seven clubs: down from 2,178 in 2023 to 2,171 in 2024. However there's been a 2.9 per cent increase in members to 1.42 million and the market value has gone up by 8.8 per cent to £796 million.

Around 33 per cent of private clubs are open 24/7.

Public sector clubs

The total number of public sector gyms has fallen to 2,496 compared to 2,538 in 2023 – a difference of 42. Despite this, member numbers have risen by 1.9 per cent to 3.36 million; penetration has reached 5 per cent (from 4.9) and market value has increased by 6.2 per cent to an all-time high of £1.44 billion.

At 46 per cent, the majority of public sector facilities are managed by a trust, but there is a noticeable trend for insourcing that now accounts for 20 per cent of the market. Educational establishments run 14 per cent of public sector sites, while leisure management contractors operate 9 per cent.

Wth 195 facilities, GLL is largest trust operator and is aiming to achieve £2 billion of social value over the five years.

Only 1 per cent of public sector gyms are open 24/7 and the average membership fee charged is £32.07.

Penetration

The penetration rate varies around the UK, with London having the highest rate at 19.9 per cent, with 826 gyms and a value of £1.38 billion. It’s 16.5 per cent in Scotland, with 657 gyms. The rest of England has 16 per cent penetration with 5,778 gyms; Wales sits at 14 per cent, with 385 gyms and Northern Ireland has 11.3 per cent penetration and 189 gyms.

ENDNOTE

Leisure DB founder, David Minton, has been analysing the UK health and fitness industry for almost 20 years. Figures come from a proprietary database that holds details for 7,009 fitness sites across the UK.

The database is updated daily by a team of researchers with phone calls to sites each year, while bots and other digital resources are used to monitor changes, along with site visits and self-reporting. The 138-page report includes interviews with leaders from across the industry.

The full report is available to read free here State of the UK Fitness Industry Report 2024


back
Latest member news
New pilot to tackle hypertension
A collaboration between two GP surgeries and Wave Active, the operator of local sports and leisure centres, will see patients in Seaford, East Sussex with early signs of hypertension undergo a programme of education and supervised physical activity to reduce the risks of developing a health condition associated with hypertension.
read more...


Online classes introduced for people recently out of hospital
Online live exercise classes will soon launch in Cheshire East targeting people who have recently left hospital, are deconditioned (seen a decline in physical function due to inactivity or bedrest) and/or unable to access their local health and leisure services in-person.
read more...


Activity on referral ‘fastest growing membership’ type for Trilogy Active
Midlands based Trilogy Active who operate the NHS Activity of Referral Scheme across Northamptonshire have shared that over 880 people are staying active after being referred to the scheme by their GP.
read more...


Get fit for surgery
Each year, Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities programme uses the power of physical activity to support over 12,000 disadvantaged people across the city to improve their health and wellbeing.
read more...


Vitality programme grows by 40% in East Renfrewshire
East Renfrewshire residents have praised an exercise programme, aimed at supporting those with medical conditions to be active and connected, whilst increasing their fitness levels.
read more...


Worcestershire man loses almost half his body weight as part of incredible transformation
Sheldon Donavon, 32 from Malvern, who attends the Freedom Leisure centres in both Worcester and Malvern, has lost over 13 stone in body weight.
read more...


Praise for Health for Heroes
An army veteran from Barrhead has praised East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure's Health for Heroes initiative, which offers free health and wellbeing support for veterans.
read more...


Conquering diabetes with GLL
Vinod Mistry is living proof that you can manage diabetes long-term through diet and exercise - and go on to complete some of the world’s most gruelling physical challenges.
read more...


From quadruple bypass to confident gym user
David Irving knows the power of positive lifestyle change, thanks to support from Everybody Health & Leisure.
read more...


High Life Highland Introduce Dynamic Wellbeing
High Life Highland has introduced a new class to its offering in Grantown-on-Spey which is aimed at older adults who might benefit from some gentle exercise to help them manage long term health conditions or mobility problems.
read more...


Horizon Leisure’s Wellbeing Hub celebrates first birthday
Charitable leisure trust, Horizon Leisure is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the first-of-its-kind Health and Wellbeing Hub based at a shopping mall in Havant.
read more...


£17M social value figure shows health & wellbeing contribution for Mytime Active
Social enterprise, Mytime Active, generated a social value in excess of £17 million for its neighbourhood economies last year.
read more...


Pendle Leisure Trust case study – Lighter and More Active
Alan was referred to the Up & Active Team six months ago via the Pendle Primary Care Network health and wellbeing coach service.
read more...


From lifting weights to benefit menopause to paying closer attention to equipment for those with impairment – Burnley's new look knows no barriers
Burnley Leisure and Culture have recently upgraded even more facilities with both St Peter’s and Padiham Leisure Centres newly refurbished gyms and cycling studios re-opening recently.
read more...


Mytime Active and The Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum join forces to Support Young Mums
Mytime Active is working in partnership with Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum (BCFF) to deliver twice-weekly free-swimming lessons for young mums aged 15 - 24 and their babies.
read more...


Britain at the bottom of the class when it comes to school swimming
New research by GLL highlights the importance of children’s swimming lessons as more primary schools reduce mandatory lessons.
read more...


more Community Leisure UK member news >>
Business partner news
● Charity Risk Focus
Welcome to the first edition of Charity Risk Focus — your update from Gallagher’s Charities team, helping you stay ahead in today’s challenging risk landscape. ...more
Latest industry news from leisureopportunities.co.uk
05 Jul 2024
CIMSPA launches online training and education hub
Industry body CIMSPA, which represents workers in the physical activity sector, has created an online platform to support training and career development.
read more...


04 Jul 2024
Edinburgh Leisure launches Nordic walking as part of its active ageing programme
Edinburgh Leisure is launching a six-week introduction to Nordic walking as part of its award- winning Ageing Well Project.
read more...


04 Jul 2024
Third Space is on a roll with the second of three 2024 club launches
Third Space is celebrating the launch of its 11th club in London at the historic Battersea Power Station development.
read more...


01 Jul 2024
Blackstone snaps up health club specialist, Village Hotels. Plans to grow the portfolio
Village Hotels has changed hands following a deal between the owner – an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners – and funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate in a deal thought to be in the region of £850 million (US$1.08 million).
read more...


27 Jun 2024
F45 now offering workouts on Strava
F45 Training has become the first health and fitness operator to make its functional/HIIT group workouts available on Strava, the digital community with 125 million members.
read more...


26 Jun 2024
PureGym supports ambulance service by adding defibrillators to The Circuit
PureGym has partnered with the British Heart Foundation to upload all of its defibrillators to The Circuit, which allows the ambulance service to access them in an emergency.
read more...


25 Jun 2024
Gymshark global reboot bids to own the gym community
Gymshark has launched a new global brand platform, We Do Gym, to make it clear the made-by- lifters-for-lifters apparel is aimed directly at the gym market.
read more...


22 Jun 2024
Nike and Hyperice collaborate on Paris 2024 recovery concept
Nike and recovery brand, Hyperice, have partnered to create two tech-driven recovery products – a vest and boots – ahead of Paris 2024.
read more...


more industry news >>
Regional Meetings
South West Regional Meeting
12 July 2024
Special Interest Groups
i-Trent
8 July 2024
Health Learning Session (England)
9 July 2024
Health Scotland
10 July 2024
Carbon Literacy
11 July 2024
Social Value
16 July 2024
Safeguarding
18 July 2024
For more information about Special Interest Group and regional / national members meetings, please contact [email protected]
Job vacancies
Facility Manager - LSBU Active
Salary: £31,396 to £34,557, inclusive of £4,952 London Weighting
Location: London, UK
Company: London South Bank University
Read more and apply
Head of Operations
Salary: £56,107.80 - £63,165.86pa + benefits
Location: Dunfermline, UK
Company: Fife Sports and Leisure Trust Ltd
Read more and apply
Senior Leisure Officer
Salary: £41,418 - £48,474pa + local govt pension + benefits
Location: Honiton, UK
Company: East Devon District Council
Read more and apply
more job vacancies >>
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
ASEAN Patio Pool Spa Expo
Bangkok, Thailand
more
08-10 Sep 2024
Salt Therapy Association Conference
Lake Buena Vista, United States
more
19-19 Sep 2024
Destination Deluxe Awards & Wellness Day 2024
Bangkok 10120, Thailand
more
20-22 Sep 2024
World Wellness Weekend
more
01-04 Oct 2024
Synergy - The Retreat Show
Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
more
09-13 Oct 2024
Soul Festival
Maldives
more
10 Oct 2024
VAC 2024
London
more
22-25 Oct 2024
Interbad
Germany
more
24-24 Oct 2024
HCM Summit 2024
London, United Kingdom
more
04-07 Nov 2024
Global Wellness Summit (GWS)
St Andrews, United Kingdom
more
more diary dates >>
Business partners
Contact Community Leisure UK


Kirsty Cumming, Chief Executive

Tel: 020 7250 8263
[email protected]
Submit news


The Community Leisure UK ezine is published in association with leisureopportunities.co.uk

Please email news and images for consideration to [email protected]
Your subscription


This email is sent to you as a Community Leisure UK member benefit: to unsubscribe click here

To add a colleague to this mailing list click here

This e-zine is produced and distributed on behalf of Community Leisure UK by Leisure Media, publisher of Leisure Opportunities, HCM and Sports Management