PUBLISHED TODAY - 2015 STATE OF THE UK SWIMMING INDUSTRY REPORT

PRESS RELEASE:

Number of UK Swimming Sites decreases by 0.7%

Fitness Industry UK

- 3% rise in public swim pay and play fees

 

The 2015 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report reveals that the UK swimming industry has experienced a third year of decline over the twelve month period to the end of March 2015, with a decrease of 0.7% in the number of swimming sites.

 

The 2015 report highlights that more than twice as many swimming pools have closed in the last 12 months as have opened. This is more marked in the private sector but is still seen in the public sector too.

 

The 2015 report concludes that 84% of the UK population lives within 2 miles of a public or privately owned swimming pool with some public access.

 

Summary of Key Facts

  • There are now 3,265 swimming sites in the UK, down from 3,287 last year.
  • 22 new public and private swimming sites opened in the 12 month period ending 31st March 2015, up from 20 in 2014.
  • Public pay and play fees have increased by 3% over the last 12 months.

 

Commenting, David Minton, Director of The Leisure Database Company said: “The good news is that swimming remains the most popular sport in the country. The bad news, according to Sport England’s latest Active People figures, is that 245,000 fewer people are participating. With the official participation figures for swimming seeing a consistent decline, I wonder if this is a direct result of having fewer pools available”.

 

- Ends -

      

Notes:

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 2015. The audit and resulting figures are compiled by independent leisure market analysts, The Leisure Database Company, who have been monitoring the performance of the fitness industry for over 30 years. Further details of the report can be found here 2015 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report.

 

Further Information:

 

The Leisure Database Company

The Leisure Database Company is a leading independent database specialist and market analyst. Established over 30 years ago, the company is contracted to Sport England and Sport Wales to maintain their respective Active Places databases covering over 20 types of sports and fitness facilities. The company also works with the major industry players providing member profiling reports, new site analysis and latent demand estimates.

 

www.leisuredb.com

enquiries@leisuredb.com

Tel: 020 3585 1441

2015 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report Published Yesterday

PRESS RELEASE

 

18th June 2015 

Fitness Industry UK

  Number of UK Fitness Members in London exceeds 1.5 million for the first time

- 5.8% rise in total membership and 5.4% rise in market value

- Total market value now estimated to be £4.3 billion  

 

The 2015 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that the UK health and fitness industry is in good health, it has more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before. 1 in every 8 people in the UK are members of a gym, an all-time penetration rate high of 13.7%. 

 

The 2015 report highlights that the industry has experienced another year of positive growth over the twelve month period to the end of March 2015, with increases of 5.4% in value, 3.3% in the number of fitness facilities and a 5.8% rise in the number of members.

 

The growth in the industry continues to be driven by strong performance from the rapidly growing low cost market in the private sector. This expanding market now accounts for 9% of the total number of private clubs, 10% of the private market value and an impressive 24% of the private sector membership.

 

Summary of Key Facts

  • Total market value (public and private sectors combined) is estimated at £4.3 billion, up 5.4% on 2014.

  • 13.7% of the UK population are now registered as members of a private health and fitness club or a publicly-owned fitness facility contrasting with 13.2% in the previous year.

  •  Total industry membership is the strongest growth indicator, up 5.8% to 8.8 million over the past 12 months.

  • 191 new public and private fitness facilities opened in the 12 month period ending 31st March 2015, up from 177 in 2014.

  • There are now 6,312 fitness facilities in the UK, up from 6,112 last year.

 

Commenting on the figures, David Minton, Director of The Leisure Database Company said: “The results are great news for the industry and finally we have some innovation and fresh thinking coming through; the consumer obviously appreciates the new experiences, as shown by the sharp increase in member numbers and the all-time high penetration rate”.

- Ends -

Notes

The State of the UK Fitness Industry Report is compiled from the most comprehensive review of the UK fitness industry, involving individual contact with all sites. The reporting period is the 12 months to 31st March 2015. The audit and resulting figures are compiled by independent leisure market analysts, The Leisure Database Company who have been monitoring the performance of the fitness industry for over 30 years. Further details of the report can be found here 2015 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report.

 

Further Information:

The Leisure Database Company

The Leisure Database Company is a leading independent database specialist and market analyst. Established over 30 years ago, the company is contracted to Sport England and Sport Wales to maintain their respective Active Places databases covering over 20 types of sports and fitness facilities. The company also works with a wide range of fitness operators providing member profiling reports, new site analysis and latent demand estimates.

 

www.leisuredb.com

enquiries@leisuredb.com

Tel: 020 3585 1441

10 Years After - Fitness Participation

In 2005, The Leisure Database Company reported for a client on the state of the UK fitness industry. Not, on that occasion, our annual snapshot which transforms the country’s most comprehensive and up to date record of leisure facilities in the public and private sectors into a statistical digest, enabling us to make year on year comparisons (the 2015 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report will be published in the next month or so) but a broader attempt to put the nation’s efforts to mobilise the population towards a healthy lifestyle into perspective. At the same time, the main aim was to see participation levels (as they were) in their true light and look ‘outside the box’ at the huge majority who remained largely inactive.  That inactivity, of course, threatened to have huge implications for the health of the nation, long term costs to the health services and – and this is where our client was clearly interested – business opportunities for those who could display innovation and a fresh marketing perspective.

You have probably guessed where I’m going with this.  I had a look through some of the figures which formed the backbone of our conclusions then and compared them with similar numbers from 10 years on.  We all know that there are ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ but for the most part they did not make for pretty comparisons.

Fitness Industry UK

In terms of the percentage of the population who is a gym member - a gold thread which runs through our annual State of the Industry Report - this has risen from around 12% then to more than 13% now. This might seem modest but we should bear in mind the fragmentation of the fitness sector in the interim which has given rise to a whole gamut of alternative options – military fitness, studio-based activity (including spinning) and fresh fitness concepts - which may not fall under the heading of a conventional gym and prevent that gym membership figure from eating more significantly into the numbers of non-participants. That was one of our themes in that original report: for every minority which was engaged in a sports or leisure activity (15% in aerobics or keep fit type classes, for instance – the names themselves date it!) there was, by implication, a much larger majority who appeared unreachable, on either practical, educational or financial grounds.

Since 2005 this country has had the great good fortune to host the Olympics, the greatest sporting show on earth; a once in a lifetime opportunity to promote elite sport as an attainable goal and, further down the pyramid, to set a generation of young people on the road to a healthy lifestyle. The fear remains that, to a great extent, the opportunity has passed us by; that it is the same committed regulars who make up the vast majority of weekly participants. Their activity of choice may change, since those regulars are the most receptive to new ideas but many of them could be the same faces you would have encountered at your gym or club ten years ago.

In the wider sporting world, too, the picture threatens to make depressing reading. We know the travails that swimming has suffered as falling participation levels have led to a cut in central funding; one participation survey records that the number of people playing squash regularly has fallen by half; the percentage of the population visiting yoga classes (5% of us 10 years ago) increased 5 years ago but has now dropped below 2005 levels.   And, it seems, 44% of us are trying to slim now, compared to 36% 10 years ago (is that good news or bad?)

At the same time, the demographic changes which we expected in 2005 were never going to be held at bay. The associated costs of looking after a UK population of well over 64 million now, compared with just under 60 million then, are ever greater – particularly when the share who are over 50 continues to increase.

All is not lost, however. In 2005 we berated those leisure providers who were happy to expect the general public to dance exclusively to their tune, with a ‘one size fits all’, ‘take it or leave it’ philosophy. The gym operators, in particular, who clung to that view found themselves overtaken by those who offered 24 hr convenience at bargain basement prices, without the frills which 99% of users didn’t want.

The fitness experience – and that includes using the Great Outdoors! – has also made huge efforts to become brighter, happier and more user friendly. There are some great innovators out there and many are using new technology to make sure that monitoring health & fitness can be a permanent part of our lives.

Some of our conclusions from all that time ago must, however, remain largely unaltered, which you can see either as slightly depressing, or still a huge opportunity for growth and engagement, depending on where you stand.

Non-participation in sport has been addressed up until now largely from a medical and curative perspective – by doctors and hospitals, way too late, in other words – rather than a preventative and educational one.  As the proportion of the population who don’t take part in regular exercise and who are endangering their health through this omission increases, so the chances to form partnerships with health providers from all areas to make exercising a more natural and widely available part of our everyday lives continues to increase. 

 

Jon Huxtable - The Leisure Database Company