UK gyms struck after being banned from Omicron’s £ 1 billion support – archyde

Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centers in the UK have called for a government rethink after they cut the $ 1 billion.

Foto: David Levene/The Guardian

© Provided by The Guardian
Foto: David Levene/The Guardian

Huw Edwards, the executive director of UKactive industry association, said the government’s decision to remove sports venues from the Grants of up to £ 6,000 and discounts on sick pay were shameful and would “lead to companies that support the health and well-being of communities being hit the wall”.

“This is a health crisis, so it is inexcusable to turn down calls to support these important organizations that are improving people’s health, and it will make the physical activity of our nation – already in dire condition – worse will, ”he said.

“We urge the government to think again.”

Sports facilities initially thought they were included in the funding package, which, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, relates to the “hospitality and leisure sector”. However, it turned out overnight that swimming pools, gyms, and leisure centers were out of the question.

Mark Sesnan, the executive director of Better, which operates more than 200 leisure centers primarily for local government agencies, said the company spent nine months rebuilding its business to 80% of pre-pandemic attendance, just a 20-30% fall in recent weeks as the government advised the public to work from home and limit social contacts because of Omicron.

“The move to work from home has been difficult for downtown businesses such as cafes, restaurants and gyms. We have the same problem, so it is a bit bizarre that we are excluded from on-site support. The government must accept that there are financial consequences for preventing people from doing things and that support must go equally to all companies [affected].“

Sesnan said Better will continue to keep its facilities open in hopes that the decline in business will be in the short term. But he said that without a surge in visitor numbers or government support, it would be forced to cut jobs and cut opening times.

The outcry comes after a group of independent gyms wrote to the prime minister, warned that the sector is “struggling to survive at a knife edge” and is in desperate need of assistance ahead of its peak in January and February, when it can post up to half the annual profit.

Several London-based operators, including Frame with seven locations, Triyoga with five and 1Rebel with nine gyms, have called for the reintroduction of vacation payments, urgent financial assistance through grants and a cut in VAT on the way to kick-start the industry after the holidays.

Sandy Macaskill, co-founder of Barry’s UK, who also endorsed the open letter, said: “It’s like a dark comedy that we are in a national health crisis and ignore the very industry that keeps people fit and healthy. I read somewhere that the latest support package is like a Christmas cracker. We don’t even get one of them. “

Rebecca Passmore, UK chief executive of PureGym, one of the leading chains, said: “We reiterate calls on the government to reconsider their latest support measures, which exclude gyms, pools and leisure centers. Recent government action has had an impact on gym goer behavior, particularly guidance on how to work from home, and as a result, downtown gym operators and boutique operators are finding themselves in real financial trouble.

“Gyms are a critical sector for the health and wellbeing of the country and the decision to exclude gyms from any financial support in the current environment is therefore disappointing. If the government doesn’t take action now to help these operators, they may not survive for the coming months, which would directly affect the country’s ability to improve its health. “

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