While it feels like dire tidings across the entire economic sphere ever since September’s ‘mini-budget’, a leading industry association within the fitness industry has warned that Gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres might be in for an especially painful winter.
The prominent industry association ukactive, an organisation that promotes the interests of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres across the UK has issued a statement to both the government and the fitness industry that we believe should be heeded. In the wake of the government’s price cap, ukactive issued a warning that the fitness sector might be looking at a spike well above that of the national average for businesses, possibly as high as 150%.
Given the decision by the government to cap prices at the point that they have, it is still estimated that the combined cost of both electricity and gas for gyms, fitness clubs and leisure facilities will increase by over 100% compared to 2019. This is because the cap isn’t on paying a set amount but per unit.
Operators of large facilities, and specifically those that deal with large amounts of heated water, such as facilities with swimming pools, saunas or Jacuzzis, have been warned of increases up to or above 150%.
As such, ukactive has cautioned that due to government action and policy, the financial cost of energy bills for the whole sector will come to consume over 100% of what it did in 2019. Given that that amount was over £500 million in 2019, this means that over £1 billion, potentially even one and a quarter billion pounds will exit the fitness industry to pay for their energy costs. We have covered these developments and potential measures being taken by the industry here: Energy Costs, Powercuts and the fitness Industry – Google Docs
The CEO of ukactive, Huw Edwards (not that one), stated in his warning that: “The government should be extremely concerned about both the health and economic impact of the energy crisis on fitness and leisure operators.” And went on to say that “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”.
While it is clear that this situation is unprecedented, it is one that this government is monitoring intensely, and one that is affecting nearly every business within the UK. The fitness industry has shown time and time again, most recently with the Covid-19 pandemic, that it is versatile, resilient and innovative. It is also an industry that thrives on communication, and as such we will be focusing on measures, like the one linked above, to endure this autumn, winter and beyond.