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More sports clubs own facilities – but availability concerns remain

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The number of sports clubs that own their own facilities has surged by 20 percentage points over the past three years – although several clubs still experience "very big problems" in terms of securing availability.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s What’s the Score? report, which is a snapshot of sports clubs in England and Wales, revealed that 41 per cent of the 812 surveyed sports clubs owned their own venues compared to 21 per cent in 2013.

Despite this, the number of clubs relying on public facilities also grew from 49 per cent in 2013 to 57 per cent in 2016.

Around 25 per cent of sports clubs said the availability of facilities was a very serious problem, with basketball clubs (26 per cent) the most affected.

Indeed, basketball had the lowest number of clubs (6 per cent) that owned facilities, and had the most number of clubs that hired facilities (96 per cent), up on the 91 per cent recorded in the 2013 survey.

Ninety-three per cent of swimming clubs hired public facilities in 2016, up from 91 per cent three years ago. Gymnastics and trampolining also had a large proportion of clubs (71 per cent) that hired facilities.

Golf and sailing clubs (77 per cent each) were most likely to own their own facilities, while 63 per cent of multi-sports clubs were venue owners compared with 36 per cent of single-sport clubs.

Approximately 17 per cent of basketball clubs claimed they were in a serious financial problems, and accumulated the lowest average annual revenue of £21,443 (US$28,036, €24,967). Golf clubs had the highest average annual revenue of £703,754 (US$920,143, €819,431) compared with the overall average of £149,262 (US$195,156, €173,796).

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The number of sports clubs that own their own facilities has surged by 20 percentage points over the past three years – although several clubs still experience "very big problems" in terms of securing availability.
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