National Leisure Recovery Fund opens to support public leisure facilities

Sport England has launched the National Leisure Recovery Fund to support publicly owned leisure facilities through the coronavirus crisis.

The fund, made up of £100m of Exchequer investment, is open for applications from 14 December-8 January - with eligible local authorities able to submit an expression of interest form from today until 21 December - and aims to assist the reopening and recovery of the leisure service and prevent further closures of outsourced leisure trusts and operators.

Gyms and leisure centres play a vital role in helping people to be active and they’ll be crucial in our nation’s recovery from coronavirus as well as wider health, wellbeing and community benefits.

Restrictions brought in to stop the spread of the virus have had a huge impact on the financial viability of many services. The fund aims to counter this, as well as protect sports provision for those who might otherwise struggle to get the benefits of being physically active.

“The health and mental wellbeing of communities across England relies on access to high quality gyms and leisure centres," said Sport England’s executive director of property, Charles Johnston.

“While this funding cannot solve all of the financial and operational challenges facing the leisure sector, the National Leisure Recovery Fund will offer a lifeline to society’s least active members and help them to build up the immunity we need to fight coronavirus.”

The organisation has worked closely with the Local Government Association, ukactive, Community Leisure UK, Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association and others to make sure the application and funding process is as fast and simple as possible.

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