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Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools - UK - September 2019

Covered in this report

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). Market size is based on expenditure in publicly-owned leisure sites.

Private health and fitness clubs are excluded from the coverage of this report, as are all other private leisure and swimming facilities that are not open to the general public, such as those reserved for employees, or association or trade union members.


“An increase in facility numbers helped the public leisure centres and swimming pools market return to growth in 2019 but the difficulty of upgrading an ageing venue stock while local authority budgets remain heavily constrained means potential for further expansion is limited at best.”

– David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Leisure centres to gain from healthy new relationships
  • Facilities crisis is about quality as much as quantity

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Facility expansion feeds revenue growth
              • Figure 1: Forecast of public leisure centre and swimming pool revenues, 2014-24
            • Growth rates higher on the dry side
              • Figure 2: Leisure centre and swimming pool numbers, by type of facility, 2017-19
            • Fitness facilities pay their way
              • Figure 3: Leisure centre and swimming pool revenues, by segment, 2016-18
            • Policy focus can improve leisure centres’ health
              • Companies and brands
                • In-house operations coming back into fashion
                  • Figure 4: Leisure centre and swimming pool numbers, by operator type, April 2019
                • The consumer
                  • Women choosing to exercise elsewhere
                    • Figure 5: Participation in health and fitness activities, July 2017-June 2019
                  • Private sector defectors are warm targets for a comeback
                    • Figure 6: Future interest in visiting public leisure centres and swimming pools, July 2017-June 2019
                  • Swimming still the main motive for visiting
                    • Figure 7: Participation in public leisure centre and swimming pool activities, June 2019
                  • Value propositions can change perceptions of cost
                    • Figure 8: Barriers to visiting public leisure centres and swimming pools, June 2019
                  • Families are happiest
                    • Figure 9: Overall satisfaction with public leisure centres and swimming pools, June 2019
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Leisure centres to gain from healthy new relationships
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Facilities crisis is about quality as much as quantity
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • More facilities bring in more money
                                  • Expansion focuses on the dry side
                                    • Fitness facilities pay their way
                                      • Policy focus can improve leisure centres’ health
                                        • Budget pressures threaten future investment
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Facility expansion feeds revenue growth
                                            • Figure 10: Public leisure centre and swimming pool revenues, 2014-24
                                          • Forecast
                                            • Figure 11: Forecast of public leisure centre and swimming pool revenues, 2014-24
                                          • Forecast methodology
                                          • Market Segmentation

                                            • Facility growth rates higher on the dry side
                                              • Figure 12: Leisure centre and swimming pool numbers, by type of facility, 2015-19
                                            • Sporting image overshadows potential of secondary spend
                                              • Figure 13: Leisure centre and swimming pool revenues, by segment, 2015-19
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • New policy positions expand opportunities for providers
                                                • Figure 14: Impact of regular physical activity on selected health risks, 2016
                                              • All pain and no gain for local authority budgets
                                                  • Figure 15: Local authorities’ operating costs and central government funding, 2019/20 and 2020/25
                                                • Health-aware need nudging into action
                                                    • Figure 16: Behaviours relating to healthy lifestyles, August 2018
                                                  • Gym competition continues to strengthen
                                                      • Figure 17: Private health and fitness club membership, May 2015-March 2019
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • In-house operations coming back into fashion
                                                      • GLL stays out in front
                                                        • New facilities continue to open
                                                          • Environmental sustainability supports financial viability
                                                            • Providers push for exercise as medicine
                                                            • Market Share

                                                              • In-house operations show first signs of revival
                                                                • Figure 18: Leisure centre and swimming pool numbers, by operator type, 2015-19
                                                              • Market leader way out in front
                                                                • Figure 19: Leading leisure centre and swimming pool operators, by revenue, 2018
                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                              • £150 million of new facilities open their doors...
                                                                • ...with another £200 million in the pipeline
                                                                  • New venues raising bar on sustainability
                                                                    • Monmouth goes hall in on swimming pool plan
                                                                      • Promotional partnerships targeting swim and gym
                                                                        • Providers push for exercise as medicine
                                                                          • Facilities aim to be more dementia friendly
                                                                          • Company Profiles

                                                                            • Greenwich Leisure Limited
                                                                              • Figure 20: Greenwich Leisure Limited key financials, 2014-18
                                                                            • Sport and Leisure Management Ltd
                                                                                • Figure 21: Sport and Leisure Management Ltd key financials, 2014-18
                                                                              • Places for People Limited
                                                                                • Figure 22: PfPL (Holdings) Limited key financials, 2014-18
                                                                              • Others
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Women choosing to exercise elsewhere
                                                                                  • Private sector defectors are warm targets for a comeback
                                                                                    • Swimming still the main motive for visiting
                                                                                      • Value propositions can change perceptions of cost
                                                                                        • Families are happiest
                                                                                          • Quality and variety top the bill
                                                                                          • Usage and Consideration

                                                                                            • Fitness fashions see younger women make studio switch
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Participation in health and fitness activities, July 2017-June 2019
                                                                                              • Private sector defectors are warm targets for a comeback
                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Future interest in visiting public leisure centres and swimming pools, July 2017-June 2019
                                                                                              • Participation and Interest

                                                                                                • Swimming still the centre of the leisure experience
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Participation in public leisure centre and swimming pool activities, June 2019
                                                                                                  • Fitness segment regains strength
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Participation in public leisure centre fitness activities, July 2017-June 2019
                                                                                                    • A major focus on events
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Participation in free and competitive public leisure centre and swimming pool sports events among 35-44 year olds, July 2018-June 2019
                                                                                                      • Centre users get beyond the pool and gym
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Leisure centre and swimming pool activity repertoires, June 2019
                                                                                                      • Barriers to Visiting

                                                                                                        • Value propositions can change perceptions of cost
                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Barriers to visiting public leisure centres and swimming pools, June 2019
                                                                                                          • A partnership approach to raising facility standards
                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Perception of public leisure centre and swimming pool facilities as being of poor quality, by participation in health and fitness activities outside these venues, June 2019
                                                                                                          • Satisfaction

                                                                                                            • Families are happiest
                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Overall satisfaction with public leisure centres and swimming pools, June 2019
                                                                                                              • Facility users feel the quality...
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Satisfaction with elements of public leisure centre and swimming pool experience, June 2019
                                                                                                                • ...but are swimming pools starting to show their age?
                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Satisfaction with quality of leisure centre and swimming pool facilities, by activity, June 2019
                                                                                                              • Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                                • Quality and variety top the bill
                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Key drivers of overall satisfaction with leisure centres and swimming pools, July 2019
                                                                                                                • Operators need to focus on technology
                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Overall satisfaction with leisure centres and swimming pools – key driver output, July 2019
                                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviation and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                        • Key driver analysis
                                                                                                                          • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Overall satisfaction with leisure centres and swimming pools – key driver output, July 2019
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Satisfaction with leisure centres and swimming pools – key driver output, July 2019
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Forecast of public leisure centre and swimming pool revenues, 2019-24

                                                                                                                          Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools - UK - September 2019

                                                                                                                          £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)