Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools - UK - September 2015
"Public leisure centres and swimming pools have outperformed the sports participation market as a whole in sustaining the gains made around the London 2012 Olympics but now face a future in which deepening funding cuts will place huge pressure on budgets and push local authorities to adopt a more commercial and partnership-based approach to investment and provision."
- David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst
This report covers the following areas:
- What will the leisure centre of the future look like?
- How can centres and pools attract more visitors?
- How can operators promote usage of non-sport facilities?
Public leisure centres and swimming pools have outperformed the sports participation market as a whole in sustaining the gains made around the London 2012 Olympics but now face a future in which deepening funding cuts will place huge pressure on budgets and push local authorities to adopt a more commercial and partnership-based approach to investment and provision.
Centre and pool admissions remain resilient but are increasingly reliant on core users as the overall customer base continues to shrink. High levels of satisfaction with services and facilities suggest this core business is solid but operators need to address more negative perceptions around overcrowding, pricing and sociability to widen their player pool.
Technology is arguably the one area in which rapid improvement could have the biggest effect on user experience, in everything from access to goal setting and satisfaction in sports activities to raising both awareness of non-sport facilities and the attractiveness of them.
This report covers local authority-owned leisure centres and swimming pools, including facilities run on a ‘dual use’ basis, eg facilities housed within schools etc that are available for use by the public at certain times of the day or week.
Private health and fitness clubs are excluded from the coverage of this report, as are all other private facilities that are not open to the general public, such as those reserved for employees, or for club, association or trade union members.
Where reference is made to data on public sports centres sourced from The Leisure Database Company, the use of the term ‘Public Sports Centre’ relates to both availability and core facilities.
In availability terms, the definition excludes those venues not available to the general public on a ‘pay-and-play’ basis or for club use only (usually applicable to education-based sites). The Leisure Database Company definition also refers specifically to a venue with one or more of the following core facilities: health and fitness, swimming pool (indoor or outdoor) or sports hall.
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