The 2017 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report reveals that the number of pools has continued to decline slightly over the last 12 months. The number of swimming pool sites has dropped by 0.5%. For the fifth year in a row, more swimming pool sites have closed than opened.

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How tech is shaping fitness...


A recent article in The Guardian discussed "how technology is creating a workout that's more data rich, smarter and convenient that ever before". 

David Minton, Director of LeisureDB, was quoted discussing the possibility of futuristic workouts...

"The backdrop at the gym isn't always that motivating but thankfully tech companies are playing around with virtual reality so in the future we can put on a headset, sit on a stationary bike and feel like you're riding through mountains". 

See original article via this link


Last week an article was published in the Investors Chronicle discussing how 'The Listed Gym Sector is Bulking Up Again'. LeisureDB's statistics and David's insights were quoted. 

"Between 2007 and 2011 the industry ticked along quite effectively, but with limited growth due to little innovation. It takes a while for new technology and innovation to have an impact on an industry. Smartphones have revolutionised the way consumers record their daily activity and check their health. The interest in tracking devices and wearable technology could help maintain general interest in fitness and be good for the industry.

The penetration of private health clubs (not under local authority control) has grown from 7.5 per cent to 9.1 per cent in the past four years and the joint public-private penetration is an impressive 14.3 per cent - an all-time high. Although we can point the finger to the rapidly expanding low-cost market for most of this growth, it is worth looking at the underlying technology that makes it possible.

Low-cost clubs are a hub of technology, relying on immediate data science and enterprise security software. Their presence on social media and ability to communicate digitally with customers is impressive and also allows for secondary spend across their mobile platforms.

Timing has played its part in bringing fresh technology, vision, innovation, interest and finance into an industry that we have always believed has enormous potential. Parts of it have been driven from 'data poor' to data-driven businesses and some consumers have turned themselves into walking, running, cycling, swimming and fitness data hubs.

The Gym's successful IPO in November 2015 reintroduced the fitness industry to the City and Pure is about to list, while we understand Bannatyne could also be seeking a flotation. US-based fitness and technology expert Bryan O'Rourke believes the global fitness market will grow by 300 per cent in the next decade. If this happens, it will mean great opportunities for UK brands."

David Minton, Director of The Leisure Database Company

Original article: Investors Chronicle, Bradley Gerrard - The Listed Gym Sector Is Bulking Up


Press Release: 2016 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report

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.

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A week at LeisureDB

Not only is it FriYAY, it’s also our favourite day of month here at LeisureDB HQ….Pay Day Pie Day Friday!

It’s been a busy week but to celebrate its end, here’s a quick update of the happenings in the past 168 hours.

Natalie and David attended the Active-net event in Loughborough. David was a keynote speaker and presented his talk ‘It’s Dot Complicated’. Following on from Randi Zuckerberg’s talk at IHRSA, David discussed the future of technology within the fitness industry. Thanks for a great event Active-net!

David also spoke at the TIAUK Business of Tennis Forum on Thursday about disruption in sport and the development of aggregators, such as Tennis Trakker Pro, Tennis Math, PlaySport and MoveGB.

Charlotte enjoyed #WorkoutWednesday this week and even won a new hoodie from her personal trainers at The Fitting Rooms, London Bridge!

Jen has been busy producing her 60 Second UK Fitness News video for our YouTube channel ‘Fitness Industry UK’. She discusses recent events within the private and public sectors and you can watch her most recent video here.

Jamie is busy exploring the possibility of expanding our new mobile app building services beyond the health and fitness industry…learn more here.

We're excited to play with our new crowdfunded Skulpt Chisel which arrived this week, its cutting edge wearable tech to measure body fat & muscle quality, with an accompanying mobile app - we’ll be reviewing it on our YouTube channel soon

Everyone in the office has been working hard on the new 2016 State of the UK Fitness and Swimming Industry reports which will be released in May. Excitement is also building for our newest Social Media Index report and services, more news to follow about these!

Have a great bank holiday!

From the LeisureDB team


Time for a new strategy for fitness? SIBEC Europe 2015

By 2016 every high street bank, most heritage brands, boring but essential service providers and probably your organisation will have established internal or external ‘disruption’ teams with the sole purpose of looking at how new technology can change the face of delivery while improving the consumer experience.

Innovation and differentiation is key to all businesses and fitness is no different.

Weight Watchers, (WW) is a good example of how quickly new technology can destroy the value of a company. In 2015 its stock dropped 92% from its all-time high, membership is down 38% and the number of meetings has fallen by 20%. The company is struggling to keep up as dieting tools have gone high tech. Dieters can now count calories with smartphone apps, calorie controlled food and snacks can get delivered every day and YouTube has free guidance and advice when you want to watch. So the weekly WW meeting and weigh-in has been replaced by on demand conversation and support.

Could the value of the fitness industry be affected by new technology so quickly?

Transport for London, (TfL) is one of many transport companies who have embraced new technology. TfL have over 5,000 developers registered on their open data platform with access to around 30 APIs, an abbreviation of application program interface. This is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications. From these APIs developers have crowdsourced money and created hundreds of transport applications which reach millions of people every week.

Is there one public fitness API for developers to use?

Around twenty new aggregators, high tech start-ups from UK, India, Israel and USA are working around the lack of APIs and are developing a business plan which bypasses the industry and its providers and goes direct to the consumer. These aggregators will have a conversation with the consumer, will provide a personalised service and will create an experience for them. ClassPass, now available in London, in 2015, completed Series B funding round of $40m for expansion. Bloggers like husband and wife team Daniel and Kelli on Fitness Blender have over 18 million followers and like Wikipedia rely on donations. Both have attracted criticism for undercutting the industry but like Uber and Airbnb the power lies with the consumer.

Meanwhile the fashion and toy industry have been caught off guard by the phenomenon of unboxing channels; Funtoys Collector, for example, had 517 million views last month while the most (previously) anonymous, richest and most powerful woman is on DisneyCollectorBR, with billions of views and consistently at the top of YouTube performance charts.

Will the fitness industry find some magic in unboxing too?

In June 2012 Barack Obama directed all Federal Agencies to have APIs to improve their delivery of services and the customer experience. In 2016 should the industry issue a similar directive? It means we will have to become more transparent but that’s no bad thing. To paraphrase Joe Biden, our competitors are not our enemies, they are our opposition and for the sake of the industry we have to work together.

After the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta where the Great Britain team finished 36th in the medal table behind North Korea, Algeria and Ethiopia something had to be done. Fast forward to 2012 and GB as the host nation finished 3rd in the medal table. UK Sport in twenty years achieved its mission to provide investment and deliver world class sporting success. In 2016 we need a new organisation fighting for and concentrating on the fitness industry. If we don’t, then aggregators, bloggers, unboxing channels, trackers, wearables and an app for everything will win over the consumer. Food for thought whilst in Spain?

Enjoy SIBEC, David Minton


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.

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Fitpro Live by Day, Summer Party by Night

Jen with her winnings! Walking out the proud owner of a ViPR and a Bosu ball!

Jen with her winnings! Walking out the proud owner of a ViPR and a Bosu ball!


Last week saw the TLDC team head down to Fitpro Live 2015 at the Excel - The UK and Europe's leading education event for Fitness Professionals. Keen to experience what it had to offer both in terms of seminar sessions and classes it was a busy but fun packed 2 days.

With classes such as 3D-Xtreme (think Bosu ball circuits), Athletic Bodyweight Conditioning, Group Centergy (needed the 5 minute lie down relax at the end!),  Parkour: MOV’ (freerunning inside!), TribeCORE™ (6 pack here we come), BOSU® On the Minute (hardcore) and MOSSA: Group Blast experienced, it is safe to say we could barely walk the next day!

Luckily there were a few seminars in-between for that well needed rest including how to open your own facility, sugar is good for you!, how to big up your business on Twitter, how to use your social media to build your online fitness business and most importantly how to become a 6 figure fitpreneur! We definitely all came away that little bit fitter and a little bit wiser...

This was followed by some light relief at The Projects Networks latest event - The Summer Party, an industry charity (Streets of London) event sponsored by ourselves. Located at The Mermaid it was a great venue with views onto the Thames. The amazing saxophone player was the highlight of a very enjoyable evening.

Fitness Industry UK