CL-UK Responds to the Leisure and Sport Package announced by Welsh Government

Published on: September 17th 2020

Community Leisure UK welcomes the additional £38 million funding support made available by Welsh Government for the public leisure and sport sector in Wales. Welsh Government has demonstrated its understanding of the financial difficulties in which our sector finds itself and has recognised the important role public leisure and sport plays in keeping the nation healthy and active.

Today’s announcement of the £14 million funding package for Wales’ sport and leisure sector complements the £24 million already made available to support public leisure managed by Local Authorities and their Leisure Trust partners through the Hardship Fund for local government.

We will continue to work with our partners in Wales to support the sustainable recovery of the leisure and sport sector. This funding is a welcome relief for many and will form an important part of the sector’s future resilience. We will now need to continue the positive collaboration between the national partners to ensure that the funding will receive those most at need quickly and efficiently.

Responding to this announcement, Mark Tweedie, Chief Executive at Community Leisure UK said:

“We welcome the £38 million investment into the sustainable recovery of leisure and sport in Wales by the Welsh Government. Throughout the pandemic, the Welsh Government has been pro-active in working with the leisure and sport sector to understand and respond to the needs and challenges voiced by the sector.

We recognise that Local Authorities have been supportive of their local leisure trust partners throughout the pandemic, and ask them now to continue this support by using the £24 million ringfenced for public leisure as part of the Hardship Fund for local government. The ringfenced Hardship funding complements today’s £14 million funding announcement and is provided directly to Local Authorities and their leisure trust partners. It is imperative that Local Authorities work closely with their trust partners to ensure funding is distributed fairly and effectively.

The £38 million from the Welsh Government is a very welcome step towards recovery, but there is still a long road ahead of us. The lockdown period has brought the leisure and sport sector closer together, and we look forward to continuing this collaboration to address the challenges ahead of us – to protect jobs, save our valued leisure services, and make communities feel safe and included while enjoying leisure and sport activities.”