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New Platform Called ‘Moving Communities’ Launched To Assess Impact Of £100m Recovery Fund On Public Leisure Facilities

A new platform called ‘Moving Communities’ has been launched, which will track participation at public leisure facilities and provide new evidence of the sector’s performance, sustainability and social value.

This data will help local authorities, leisure providers and policymakers to support the recovery of public gyms and leisure centres from the Covid-19 pandemic; taking informed decisions to keep our nation active.

It will also measure the impact of £100m provided by the HM Government through Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund and inform future investment decisions to help strengthen communities and improve our nation’s health and wellbeing.

Sport England and Government recognise the vital role gyms and leisure centres play in helping people to be active, and have enhanced and repurposed the National Benchmarking Survey (NBS), working with Leisure-net Solutions in partnership with 4global, Max Associates, Quest (managed by Right Directions) and the Sport Industry Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University.

The new platform represents an evolution of the Moving Communities report produced annually by the ukactive Research Institute since 2017, building on ukactive’s work with its public leisure operator members. ukactive will continue to play an important role in supporting the research by engaging members to ensure comprehensive data supports the growth of the sector.

Moving Communities will provide a bespoke view of financial performance, participation levels, facility quality scores (delivered by Quest Prime), social value reports and customer experience survey results for sites involved in the Fund, which can be compared to the national picture and filtered to enable local analysis and learning.

Customer experience will be measured via the largest consumer survey ever completed in the sector – with more than 1,000 leisure facilities taking part across 300 local authorities.

Participating local authorities will be provided with access to new Moving Communities dashboards, which can be used with their key stakeholders to help inform and evidence local decisions. A quarterly, comprehensive overview of the nation’s public leisure services and hold regular webinars will also be published to help provide further insights to support the delivery of Sport England’s strategy Uniting the Movement.

“The new Moving Communities platform will act as a local tool to help support leisure operators and their understanding of their service. It will be shared with other local authorities to help the whole sector recover from the Covid crisis, and will demonstrate the value and impact of the sector as it emerges from the pandemic and at time when it is needed most,” says David Monkhouse, Director of Leisure-net, the leading customer insight provider for the active leisure sector, which is delivering Moving Communities on behalf of Sport England.

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