PSBJ: the future of leisure

Mark Gowdridge and Paul Reed recently had the opportunity to contribute an article for Public Sector Build Journal (PSBJ) on the topic of changing attitudes toward fitness and leisure post COVID-19. As one of our core sectors, and a topic we know plenty about, we of course said yes.

In recent years, we have seen the ways in which people think about fitness and leisure change and evolve. This has only been accelerated as a result of the COVID crisis, posing an interesting question for local authorities and operators as they look to engage with a wider range of users and encourage more people to remain active. We have seen a real shift towards digital health and fitness tools, meaning that the leisure industry must evolve and innovate if it is to continue to attract users.

In the UK, prior to lockdown, it was estimated that around one million people fall into the ‘sleeper’ category when it comes to their fitness memberships – people who pay their monthly fee but generally do not attend the gym.

It’s highly likely that these users will be lost moving forwards as facilities struggle to re-engage them, often after a period of frozen membership fees. But what about the rest of the UK population? Those non-users who haven’t yet become involved with a gym or leisure centre, but have engaged with physical activity during the pandemic – how do we engage them?

This provides local authorities and operators with a unique opportunity to rethink their approach to fitness and leisure facilities; moving away from the traditional dry/wet mixes of the past and consider more what communities actually want from their leisure facilities, and in turn, ensuring business plans are viable.

To continue reading the full article please follow this link over to PSBJ:


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