Press Release - 2018 State of the UK SWIMMING INDUSTRY Report

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6th June 2018 

The 2018 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report reveals that the number of swimming pool sites has remained static over the last 12 months. There has been a marginal increase of 0.1%.


Nuffield and GLL remain the UK’s leading private and public swimming operators (by number of sites). Public leisure trust GLL lead the way with 142 swimming centres, followed by Nuffield who have 110 clubs with a swimming pool.


Over the twelve-month period to the end of March 2018, the swimming industry has seen fewer new pool facilities built than across the previous year, but there have also been fewer closures.


The 2018 report highlights that 84% of the UK population live within 2 miles of one of the 3,161 swimming pool sites.


Commenting on the figures, David Minton, Director of LeisureDB said: “It seems all types of water sport participation continues to grow and it’s not just down to global warming and the need to cool off! There is in fact genuine interest in all areas of water based activities and the fitness it can bring. Operators constantly report growth in swimming numbers, lessons and the usage of outdoor pools. However, this report shows that supply is reducing; across the private sector the number of pool sites has fallen from 1,549 in 2010 to 1,467 in 2018, and across the public sector from 1,725 in 2010 to 1,694 in 2018. Although the 22 new swim sites built over the last 12 months will improve the quality of swimming stock for the consumer, the numbers are failing to keep up with demand.”.


Summary of Key Facts

  • The number of swimming sites in the UK is up from 3,158 to 3,161 this year.
  • 22 new public and private swimming pool sites opened in the last 12 months, down from 34 in 2017.
  • Public pay and play fees increased by 3% to £4.38.



The State of the UK Swimming Industry Report is compiled from the most comprehensive review of the UK swimming industry, involving individual contact with all sites. The reporting period is the 12 months to 31st March 2018. The audit and resulting figures are compiled by independent leisure market analysts, LeisureDB, who have been monitoring the performance of the fitness and swimming industry for over 30 years. Further details of the report can be found here 2018 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report.


Further Information:



LeisureDB (formerly The Leisure Database Company) is a leading independent database specialist who provides key market intelligence and analysis across the industry. Established over 30 years ago, the company works with a wide range of fitness operators providing member profiling reports, new site analysis, latent demand estimates, statistics and data licenses.

Tel: 020 3735 8491