2018 STATE OF THE UK SWIMMING INDUSTRY REPORT - OUT NOW

 
2018 - Press Release.png
 

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.

 

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 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.

Press Release: 2016 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report

Number of UK Swimming Sites decreases by 1%

3% rise in public swim pay and play fees

 

The 2016 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report reveals that the industry has experienced another year of slight decline over the twelve month period to the end of March 2016, with a decrease of 1% in the number of swimming pool sites.

 

The 2016 report highlights that although the number of swimming pool openings is up this year, more swimming pools have closed in the last 12 months than opened. This is especially marked in the private sector after Pure Gym acquired the LA Fitness brand in mid 2015 and removed the swimming pools.

 

The 2016 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 3,229 swimming sites in the UK, down from 3,265 last year.
  • 40 new public and private swimming pool sites opened, up from 22 in 2015.
  • Public pay and play fees have increased by 3% over the last 12 months.

 

Commentating on the figures, David Minton, Director of The Leisure Database Company said: “Despite a slight decrease in overall swimming pool numbers, the future is still bright as long as we ensure that the swimming facilities are there to meet the demand. In evolutionary terms, swimming trackers and wearables have some catching up to do on the latest technology for cycling and running, but I have little doubt that for keen swimmers they will start to become an integral part of the fun and interest the sport provides in the next 12 months”.

  

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 2016. 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 2016 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report.

 

Further Information:

 

The Leisure Database Company

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 and latent demand estimates. 2016 sees the launch of 2 new services: LeisureDB Mobile Apps and the LeisureDB Social Media Fitness Index.

 

Technology in the swimming pool won't be an oxymoron for much longer!

We've all seen the impact of technology in the health & fitness sector - dozens of new products have hit the market in recent years, like young puppies marking their territory, all so eager to weave themselves into the fabric of our new fitness habits.

 

From Fitbit & Runtastic to Jawbone & MapMyFitness, some will surely disappear as quickly as they came, others will find their niche and thrive, but what about us happy splashers, still waiting for some of this new tech to hit our local swimming pool or lido?

 

Fitness Industry UK

In a word water. Water happened. Not an absolute barrier to the latest tech but definitely a hurdle/water jump that can erode magnetic chargers, scramble Bluetooth signals and has an unfortunate habit of leaking into the most thoughtfully designed and highly engineered miniaturised parts. It's not fair to say that the sport of swimming hasn't seen its fair share of innovation and by swimming I mean the kind of happy splashing you and I might do not Messrs Phelps or Thorpe.


The Poolmate took stroke tracking poolside and onto your wrist along with SwimTag who thought out of the box by leveraging technology combining with the physical environment of the pool. Splashpath app for iPhone got rid of those hard to read and out of date PDF swim timetables and then Speedo Fit app got in on the act with virtual swim goals and a growing global swim community. Zoggs used digital to get physical and had a crossover hit from the TV screen with their Peppa Pig kids goggles too!


Obviously this just a flavour of the new tech which has been rustling in the pool lockers up and down the country, but I'm still waiting for the next big thing to hit the pool. I've been swimming up and down at my local baths for 20 years and I'm ripe for disruption! There's some great hardware & software just landed or right around the corner from Speedo Aquabeat, Swimio, & Swimdotcom to Pebble, Instabeat & Bragi Dash, but the jury is still out who will be the game changer in aquatics. Don't forget swimming is the biggest mass participation sport in the UK though it's one of the last to see the latest tech. Is v1 of Apple Watch waterproof? Is it heck. Does Apple even list swimming as a fitness activity yet? Nope, not on their radar just yet.


Building hardware is a tough gig but somebody could win big in the water, digital is a global market that breaks through the old barriers, innovation is coming thick and fast and waits for nobody! Pebble has just put the finishing touches to some major hardware grunt work and launched the waterproof 'Pebble Time', breaking records and crowd sourcing $8m in 24 hours from their backers in the process. They're sharing the love and changing the game through their open source software platform to a new breed of hungry developers. Whether it's a buzz on my wrist to push me to go faster, a post swim stats dashboard, swimming flash mobs, underwater beats or lasers, I want it all, and I want it now!


Ok, fair enough... Hold the flash mobs and maybe the lasers, with all tech it's what I don't know about yet that excites me the most...


Jamie Buck - The Leisure Database Company