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Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools - UK - April 2010

  • A boom in secondary spending on items such as food, drink and merchandise as a result of the government’s free swimming initiative has been helping to keep the leisure centres and swimming pools market buoyant, with revenues up 14% in the past five years and admissions 10% higher.
  • Energy efficiency is becoming a big issue for the industry as a result of a combination of the 150% increase in gas and electricity prices between 2004 and 2009 and the impending introduction of a carbon trading scheme that rewards the most efficient centres.
  • Private contractors are finding it increasingly difficult to increase their market share as a result of the growth in sites run by not-for-profit leisure trusts, which increased in number by 9% between 2007 and 2009.
  • Leisure centres and swimming pool users are concentrated among a relatively small proportion of the population: more than six in ten adults haven’t visited a centre during the past year, while more than a third of adults have never visited one.
  • Swimming remains the most popular activity undertaken at a leisure centre, with more than half of users going with friends or family and a third on their own, while just over half of users visit the gym or health club. The next most popular dry-side activity among women is fitness classes, whereas for men it is indoor sports like racquet sports or football.
  • Lack of interest in exercise is the main reason given by a third of non-users for not using leisure centres. Participating in outdoor exercise like running and cycling and indoor home exercise instead are the other main reasons.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Community service?
              • Binge and revive
              • Market in Brief

                • Free swimming throws industry much-needed lifeline
                  • Site numbers on the slide
                    • Increased focus on energy
                      • Profit becoming a dirty word?
                        • DC Leisure maintains top spot
                          • Over six in ten haven’t used a centre in the past year
                            • Over half of users visit the gym
                              • Swimming most popular activity
                                • Pay and play predominates
                                  • Defeating apathy is biggest challenge facing centre operators
                                    • Infrastructure worry for future?
                                    • Internal Market Environment

                                      • Key points
                                        • Increased focus on energy consumption and efficiency
                                          • Figure 1: Price of fuels purchased by non-domestic consumers in the United Kingdom (excluding the Climate Change Levy), 2004-Q3 2009
                                        • The ‘slow burn’ of healthy living
                                          • Figure 2: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                          • Figure 3: Sports/activities played or taken part in regularly, 2005-09
                                        • PFIs crunched
                                          • Figure 4: PFI equity holders and projects, September 2009
                                        • Schools to take up slack?
                                          • Figure 5: BSF funding, 2008-11
                                        • Lottery also aids sport
                                          • Figure 6: Lottery funding for sport since 1995, Feb 2010
                                          • Figure 7: Sources of funding for London 2012 Olympics, July 2009
                                        • Most pool building taking place in private sector…
                                          • … but public sector boosted by free swimming
                                            • Figure 8: Number of free swims, by region and category of 60+ and 16 and under, 2009*
                                          • Home comforts
                                            • Outdoor exercise for free
                                              • Sunbed regulations tightened up
                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Increased requirement for frugality in prospect?
                                                    • Figure 9: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2005 prices, 2005-15
                                                    • Figure 10: GDP quarterly percentage change, 2004-10
                                                  • Recovery in confidence stalls
                                                    • Figure 11: Trends in consumer confidence, 2008-10
                                                  • Leisure centres not immune to the recession
                                                    • Figure 12: Impact of the recession on usage of private health & fitness clubs and leisure centres, July 2009
                                                  • Age trends positive for industry
                                                    • Figure 13: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2005-15
                                                  • ABC1 growth can benefit leisure centres
                                                    • Figure 14: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2005-15
                                                  • Lifestage trends reinforce importance of targeting older users
                                                    • Figure 15: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2005-15
                                                  • Contraction in average household size set to continue
                                                    • Figure 16: UK households, by size, 2005-15
                                                  • Net benefit?
                                                    • Figure 17: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group, age, region and working status, 2002-09
                                                  • Obesity provides future challenge for health and healthcare professionals
                                                    • Figure 18: Trends in Body Mass Index of adults in England by gender, 2004-07
                                                • Competitive Context

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Leisure centres hold their own
                                                      • Figure 19: Value of the UK leisure* business, by segment, 2004-09
                                                      • Figure 20: Type of gym/health club used, by type of membership/payment, July 2009
                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                      • Strengths
                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • A ground-up rethink
                                                              • Darwen good example of flexible pool-space
                                                                • Tapping in to outdoor exercising
                                                                  • Making payment easier for everybody
                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Centre numbers start to decline
                                                                        • Figure 21: Trends in the number of leisure centres and swimming pools in the UK, 2005-10
                                                                      • Revenue growth outstrips admissions
                                                                        • Figure 22: UK market for leisure centres and swimming pools, 2005-15
                                                                      • Better year in prospect in 2010
                                                                        • Mixed outlook for industry
                                                                        • Market Segmentation

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Pool/no pool split remains unchanged
                                                                              • Figure 23: Trends in numbers of leisure centres and swimming pools in the UK, by type, 2004-09
                                                                            • Ancillary growth outstrips sport
                                                                              • Figure 24: Leisure centres and swimming pools’ revenue, by type, 2005-09
                                                                            • Swimming tuition largely unaffected by recession
                                                                              • Free swimming boosts secondary spending
                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Trusts and contractors show strongest growth
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Leisure centres and swimming pools, by type of operator, 2007-09
                                                                                  • DC Leisure dominant player within contractor segment
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Private management contractor market shares, 2009
                                                                                • Companies and Products

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Major management contractors
                                                                                      • DCL (Holdings) Ltd
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Key financial data for DCL (Holdings) ltd, 2008-09
                                                                                        • Figure 28: DC Leisure Management, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                      • Parkwood Leisure
                                                                                          • Figure 29: Key financial data* for Parkwood Leisure, 2007-08
                                                                                          • Figure 30: Parkwood Leisure, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                        • Leisure Connection
                                                                                          • Figure 31: Key financial data for Leisure Connection Limited, 2007-08
                                                                                          • Figure 32: Leisure Connection, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                        • Serco Leisure
                                                                                          • Figure 33: Key financial data for Serco Leisure Operating Limited, 2007-08
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Serco Leisure operating ltd, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                        • Sports and Leisure Management Limited (SLM)
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Key financial data* for Sports and Leisure Management Limited, 2008-09
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Sports and leisure management, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                          • Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                            • Non Profit Distributing Organisations (NPDOs)
                                                                                              • Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL)
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Greenwich Leisure Ltd, clients and site numbers, April 2010
                                                                                                • Edinburgh Leisure Ltd
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Key financial data for Edinburgh Leisure Limited, 2008-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Edinburgh leisure, clients and site numbers, April 2010
                                                                                                  • Aquaterra Leisure
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Key financial data for Aquaterra Leisure, 2008-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Aquaterra leisure, clients and site numbers, April 2010
                                                                                                  • Nexus Community Leisure
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Nexus Community Leisure, clients and sites, April 2010
                                                                                                  • How Often Do People Visit?

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Six out of ten adults have not visited in the past year
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Frequency of visiting a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool during the past 12 months, January 2010
                                                                                                      • Visiting strongly biased towards younger, more affluent people
                                                                                                        • Mums (and Dads) go to Iceland but skip the leisure centre…
                                                                                                        • What Are People's Attitudes Towards Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Pay-as-you go users outnumber members by three to one
                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, January 2010
                                                                                                            • Nearly three in ten frequent visitors still pay as they go
                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools by frequency of visiting a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool during the past 12 months, January 2010
                                                                                                            • Improvements across the board?
                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools by most popular attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, January 2010
                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools by next most popular attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, January 2010
                                                                                                            • Swimmers agree pools are often overcrowded
                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, by most popular activities done at a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, January 2010
                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, by next most popular activities done at a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, January 2010
                                                                                                          • What Activities Do People Do At Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • More than half of users visit the gym/health club
                                                                                                                • Group swimming most popular other activity
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Activities* done at a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, January 2010
                                                                                                              • Why Don't People Use Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Apathy is centres’ biggest obstacle to overcome
                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Reasons for not visiting public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, January 2010
                                                                                                                • What Activities Might Non-Users Do At Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Swimming and classes most appealing to non-users
                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, January 2010
                                                                                                                    • Apathetic most likely to be attracted by swimming
                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, by most popular reasons for not visiting public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, January 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, by next most popular reasons for not visiting public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, January 2010
                                                                                                                    • Most interested in a range of activities
                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, by most popular activities, January 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, by next most popular activities, January 2010
                                                                                                                  • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Leisure centre non-user target groups, january 2010
                                                                                                                    • The Outdoor Exercisers
                                                                                                                      • The Indoor Exercisers
                                                                                                                        • The Deterred
                                                                                                                          • The Apathetic
                                                                                                                            • The Disenfranchised
                                                                                                                              • Outdoor Exercisers favour solo swimming
                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing by target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – How Often Do People Visit?

                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Frequency of visiting a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool during the past 12 months, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – What Are People's Attitudes Towards Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Most popular attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Next most popular attitudes towards public leisure centres and/or swimming pools, by demographics, January 2010 (continued)
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – What Activities Do People Do At Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Usage of gym or health club in a leisure centre, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Most popular activities done at a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Next most popular activities done at a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, by demographics, January 2010 (continued)
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Why Don't People Use Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Most popular reasons for not visiting public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Next most popular reasons for not visiting public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, by demographics, January 2010 (continued)
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – What Activities Might Non-Users Do At Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools?

                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Most popular activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Next most popular activities people who do not visit a public leisure centre and/or swimming pool are interested in doing, by demographics, January 2010 (continued)
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Reasons for not visiting public leisure centre and/or swimming pool, by target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Target groups, by demographics, January 2010

                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                            • Aquaterra Leisure
                                                                                                                            • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                            • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                            • Cannons Health and Fitness Ltd
                                                                                                                            • Carbon Trust
                                                                                                                            • Chester Zoo
                                                                                                                            • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                            • Credit Suisse Group
                                                                                                                            • Danoptra Limited
                                                                                                                            • David Lloyd Leisure
                                                                                                                            • DC Leisure Management Ltd
                                                                                                                            • Department for Culture Media and Sport
                                                                                                                            • Department of Health
                                                                                                                            • Edinburgh Leisure
                                                                                                                            • Electra Partners Europe
                                                                                                                            • Fitness First Plc
                                                                                                                            • Fitness Industry Association
                                                                                                                            • Freeview
                                                                                                                            • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                            • Greater London Authority
                                                                                                                            • Greenwich Leisure Ltd
                                                                                                                            • HM Revenue & Customs
                                                                                                                            • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                            • LA Fitness PLC
                                                                                                                            • Leisure Connection Ltd
                                                                                                                            • London Aquarium
                                                                                                                            • London Development Agency
                                                                                                                            • London Stock Exchange plc
                                                                                                                            • London Zoo
                                                                                                                            • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                            • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                            • National Lottery Commission
                                                                                                                            • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                            • Nuffield Hospitals
                                                                                                                            • Parkwood Leisure
                                                                                                                            • Saracens Ltd
                                                                                                                            • Serco Leisure
                                                                                                                            • Somerfield
                                                                                                                            • Sovereign Capital Partners LLP
                                                                                                                            • Sport England
                                                                                                                            • Sports and Leisure Management Ltd
                                                                                                                            • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                            • The Society of London Theatre [SOLT]
                                                                                                                            • The Sports and Recreation Trust Association
                                                                                                                            • Virgin Active
                                                                                                                            • Waitrose
                                                                                                                            • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                            • Wycombe Leisure Ltd
                                                                                                                            • Youth Sport Trust

                                                                                                                            Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools - UK - April 2010

                                                                                                                            US $2,672.70 (Excl.Tax)