Revealed: the key policies needed to reopen UK gyms and health clubs
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
star job
Coach Gyms
£15k basic + commission + Bonus
Leeds, UK
Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club
£45,000 per annum
Ilkley, UK
NRG Gym Limited
Lewisham, London, UK
Everyone Active
Unlimited earning potential
Camberwell Leisure Centre, London, UK
star job
Rugby, UK

Revealed: the key policies needed to reopen UK gyms and health clubs

Job opportunities
training opportunity
Les Mills
location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
more jobs

VAT rebates and an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are among the list of policies the government needs to adopt, in order for the UK's physical activity sector to open in a safe and economically sustainable way.

The policies – drawn up by ukactive following consultations with its members – cover five major areas in which help will be needed: the workforce, rent, children's activity providers, local authority leisure providers and support to rebuild.

ukactive said the proposed policies look to solve issues identified as "crucial" by its members during the consultations.

"For example, workforce is a critical area where support is needed once facilities reopen, because operators are initially likely to experience limited capacity and footfall – and therefore revenue – meaning they will be unable to return to full staffing capacity immediately," ukactive said.

"We are also calling on the government to follow the example of Germany in protecting businesses from prohibitive VAT and staff costs. While the government has already introduced a business rates holiday for all operators until the end of March 2021, businesses continue to face significant operational costs despite revenues falling to zero."

The policies that ukactive is proposing the government to adopt across the five areas are:


• Extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until October, and for as long as necessary, to ensure businesses have continued support as social distancing measures progress

• Ensure a regular review of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and at least 45 days’ notice before the scheme closes, to allow businesses to make staffing decisions with confidence, and protect jobs

• Establish a partial furlough or salary support scheme for the physical activity sector while social distancing rules apply, providing up to 50% cover for salaries, up to a maximum of £1,250 per month

Support to rebuild

• A VAT Output Tax rebate in the retail and leisure sectors, resulting in an effective Output Tax rate of 10 per cent

• A holiday from Employer National Insurance and PAYE within the leisure sector, from the date of closure until December 2020

Local authority leisure providers

• Provide additional funding for local authorities, ring-fenced to support public leisure facilities and trusts

• Ensure local authorities have the means to provide flexibility and support in their contractual relationships with public leisure operators and trusts, as set out in the Cabinet Office PPN 02/20, March 2020

• Noting that PPN 02/20 is silent on the situation where fees and rent are payable by leisure operators to local authorities, ensure local authorities have the means to also apply flexibility and support for leisure operators operating under such arrangements


• Extend the Memorandum of Forfeiture until October 2020 (the end of the third financial quarter)

Children and Young People

• Provide clarity on the future of the PE and Sport Premium ahead of June 2020, and guarantee ring-fenced funding for PE, school sport and physical activity in primary schools for the academic year 2020-21

• Provide a framework and tailored support for suitable schools to open as places for engagement and activity this summer, to ensure adequate support for the most vulnerable children and families, prioritising the safety of children, staff and families

Commenting on the policies, Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “While we are working tirelessly to ensure the physical activity sector is ready to open when called upon by the Government, we cannot ignore the looming threat posed to thousands of organisations and hundreds of thousands of jobs once restrictions do begin to ease.

“In order for the physical activity sector to reopen successfully so that it can support our communities in their hour of need, it is crucial the Government delivers the conditions required to help fitness and leisure providers to get back on their feet.

“We are calling for a raft of essential measures that will enable both public and private organisations to reopen their doors with confidence when the time comes.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
VAT rebates and an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are among the list of "crucial policies" the government needs to adopt, in order for the UK's physical activity sector to open in a safe and economically sustainable way.

More News

1 - 15 of 43,031
01 Dec 2020
The UK government has published its impact report for the three-tier COVID-19 alert system, which will be introduced in England tomorrow (2 December), when the ... More
30 Nov 2020
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, has said exercise and physical activity should play a key role in the UK's recovery from ... More
28 Nov 2020
International architecture practice 10 Design has revealed its design concepts for an ambitious redevelopment of Edinburgh’s city centre. The project will transform the former Royal ... More
26 Nov 2020
Playfinder has launched Bookteq, a booking system aimed at increasing revenue for operators of independent physical activity venues. CEO, Jamie Foale, said, “Some of the ... More
26 Nov 2020
Nick Whitcombe, the independent gym owner who refused to shut his gym during the October tier 3 restrictions, is becoming a fitness industry campaigner of ... More
26 Nov 2020
Montage has selected Carrie Sotebeer to lead the spa team at Montage Healdsburg resort in Sonoma County, California, opening 12 December 2020. The launch of ... More
MyZone Group Ltd
MyZone Group Ltd
26 Nov 2020
This year's UK government Spending Review, announced in Parliament by chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25 November, offers the physical activity sector opportunities to "transform communities", ... More
25 Nov 2020
Up to 100k people will benefit from the free gym and physical activity sessions, thanks to a partnership between ukactive, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), ... More
24 Nov 2020
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open ... More
23 Nov 2020
Closing gyms and leisure facilities during any possible future lockdown would be "unthinkable", according to Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North. McKinnell – ... More
23 Nov 2020
Gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be able to open their doors when the current lockdown measures in England come to an end on ... More
23 Nov 2020
The University of Stirling has opened its new £20m sports and fitness centre. The building, designed by architects FaulknerBrowns, will feature three key areas; a ... More
The Retention Guru
The Retention Guru
22 Nov 2020
Gyms are right near the bottom of the list in terms of places people have visited before a positive COVID-19 test, according to UK government ... More
22 Nov 2020
Grayshott Spa, an icon of the UK wellness industry, has succumbed to the pandemic, announcing it is to close permanently, 55 years after opening as ... More
20 Nov 2020
A new, Europe-wide initiative will look to chart the level of risk of COVID-19 infection at gyms, health clubs and leisure centres across the continent. ... More
TVS Sport Surfaces
TVS Sport Surfaces
1 - 15 of 43,031