ukactive, along with hospitality and retail trade bodies, has called for government support to end the Covid-19 rent crisis, which is seen as one of the biggest threats to the fitness and hospitality industry, and to the future of the high street.
ukactive, in conjunction with the British Property Federation, British Retail Consortium, Revo and UKHospitality, has issued a joint call for the government to save jobs and businesses by introducing a Property Bounceback Grant.
Analysis commissioned by the five trade bodies found that if government paid 50 per cent of unpaid rents across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for six months, at a cost of £1.75bn, it would herald a return on investment to the Treasury – in terms of tax revenue from economic activity – of nearly £7bn (about 400 per cent and 375,000 jobs would be saved.
If rent support were extended to cover businesses that had already reached rent payment agreements, the cost would rise to £4.7bn, with a return of more than £11bn to the UK economy, preventing the loss of over 630,000 jobs.
With zero income for fitness facilities during lockdown, many have struggled to pay their rent and service charges. This has led to operators facing an uncertain future and a number are in the process of closing permanently due to insurmountable levels of debt – a situation which could lead to thousands of job losses.
“With Government support, we can keep fitness facilities open at a time when they are needed the most. Keeping facilities open is essential in order to give people from all backgrounds the support and opportunities to become fitter and stronger, which has been shown to improve our resilience to Covid-19,” said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.