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New Government must take the lead to make the UK healthier and happier

The National Sector Partners Group (NSPG) has issued the following statement following the result of the 2024 General Election

We welcome the newly elected Labour Government and look forward to working with it to unlock the full potential of the sport, recreation and physical activity sector to achieve the five missions set out in its manifesto.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer faces an in-tray including a physical and mental health crisis across all ages, a stagnant economy, concerns about community safety and growing inequalities.

The sport, recreation and physical activity sector can play a major role in addressing these challenges and transforming the lives of millions by improving physical, mental and social wellbeing from childhood onwards; taking pressure off the NHS; creating a healthier, more productive workforce; fostering community cohesion; reducing crime and anti-social behaviour; and strengthening PE and school sport.

Rather than an after-thought, the principle of getting more people, more active, more often must be embedded as a priority right across Whitehall. It needs to be led from the very top of Government and it needs to be backed by proper investment.

We call on the new Government to pledge to make the UK the most physically active nation in Europe. This is no small task, but the prize is enormous: it would deliver an additional £3.6bn in economic growth, £1bn in NHS savings and £71bn in wellbeing benefits.

The new Government has the opportunity to work with our sector, take the lead and drive that change. The sport, recreation and physical activity sector stands ready to play its part in delivering a healthier, happier nation.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive said: 'The challenges facing the UK today mean the new Government has an incredible opportunity to deploy our sector to transform public health and stimulate economic growth.  

'Our nation’s health challenges have never been starker, but we are fueled by hope because if we can unlock our sector’s potential and give more people the chance to be physically active, we can transform our nation’s future.  

'Gyms, pools, and leisure centres form the fabric of our communities, providing a safe and supportive environment for people of all ages and backgrounds to be active together.  

'Today they also represent frontline support for the NHS, as the home to rehabilitation and treatment for a growing range of health conditions, supporting people to get healthy and back into work.  

'The new Government must work at pace to scale and integrate these services with the NHS, support the long-term sustainability of public leisure, and use the tax and regulatory levers at its disposal to expand our reach.  

'There can be no growth without health and ukactive is committed to working with the new Government to ensure our sector can play its fullest role.'


About the National Sector Partners Group:

The National Sector Partners Group (NSPG) is comprised of the following organisations:

Active Partnerships

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

Sport for Development Coalition

Sport and Recreation Alliance


Youth Sport Trust


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