Creative solution are emerging to enable the leisure sector to thrive

The financial difficulties of the last few years have led many leisure centres to the edge of closure. William Benson sets out the challenges but says there is still plenty of room for optimism.

We've all felt the financial impact of rising energy bills and increasing costs over the last couple of years, but the consequences for the leisure sector, which faces particular energy demands, are threatening the survival of facilities which are vital to community health and wellbeing.

With bills for leisure centres up to 200% higher than normal, it's not surprising that 31% of English council areas are at risk of losing or reducing their leisure services, according to UKactive, with 350 facilities already seeing restrictions or closures since October 2022.

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