Community leisure facilities worth £3.3bn to society – new report

Rob Gibsonin Multi-sports venues

A landmark study of the wider social value of public leisure facilities in Britain has shown they contribute more than £3.3bn a year to health, wellbeing, education and reducing crime.

Physical Activity: A Social Solution draws on data from more than 1.8 million members and casual users across 651 facilities over the past two years, to explore the impact of leisure centres and specific activities such as football, swimming and group workouts.

Activity insight platform the DataHub used a 'Social Value Calculator', developed by the Social Issues Research Centre with the DCMS and Sport England, to determine the overall social value generated by the UK's 2,709 public leisure facilities.

A breakdown of the overall value showed the sector is worth £2.4bn to subjective wellbeing, £715m to health, £123m, to education and £2.4m to reducing crime.

Examining the social value of specific sports, the report also found that:

Swimming provided £229m in social value in 2017, the most of all activities, which was closely followed by fitness.

Football has by far the largest social impact on education and crime proportionately, providing the greatest social value per person in both categories - £45 and £0.92 respectively.

Golf and group workouts have the largest social impact per person on health and wellbeing - golf showed £95 in health and £311 in wellbeing; group workouts showed £95 and £321.

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