Magna Vitae (MV) Trust for Leisure and Culture is a charity operating leisure centres including Horncastle Pool & Fitness Suite; London Road Pavilion, Louth; Meridian Leisure Centre, Louth; Skegness Pool & Fitness Suite and Station Sports Centre, Mablethorpe in East Lindsey.
COVID19 resulted in the closure of all MV leisure venues on Friday 20 March 2020. No income was generated during closure.
MV venues reopened, in part, on Saturday 25 July 2020. A fraction of centre membership has since returned (35%). Numbers returning are slowing rising each day. To comply with current guidelines, especially social distancing, centre operations have been significantly modified. Some services still remain unavailable despite reopening 6 weeks ago. All venues are COVID secure classified, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both custom and staff.
Latest figures from the Community Leisure UK Covid19 Impact Report shows that 44% of leisure facilities in England have not found it economically viable to reopen since the lockdown measures were eased.
MV has lost around 25% (800 members) of its health & fitness membership since March, representing a loss of £800K when compared against the previous year performance.
Approximately 50% of swimming lesson learners have indicated they will return from Monday 21 September. Potentially 700 child learners not returning represents a further loss of £300K against the previous year.
School swimming has also been negatively affected, with many local schools not planning to return until November or possibly even January 2021. Casual swimming numbers have also declined equating to a £300K annual loss. Two of MVs five swimming pools have not yet reopened. The contribution and support from both Louth Swimming Club, Louth Tri Club and Skegness Amateur Swimming Club have assisted greatly in reopening pools on a viable basis. Swim England state that an estimated 20% of swimming pools in England will close permanently due to COVID19.
85% of the MV workforce has been furloughed, MV took advantage of the GJRS (Government Job Retention Scheme). This scheme ends in October 2020, redundancies are expected when this financial support ends. Magna Vitae is currently in consultation with its workforce regards potential job losses later in the year. The UK’s public leisure sector, one of the biggest employers for 18-34 year olds, is initially facing 7,000 job losses nationally with a further 6,000 possibly to follow later on.
Social distancing arrangements are due to continue for the foreseeable future, this will continue to significantly reduce capacity sizes for group exercise classes, swimming sessions and gym sessions, this will inevitably result in reduced revenue. It is estimated that the leisure centres annual income will be around 70% less in 2020 than in the previous year.
Building public confidence is key to moving forward and helping ensure that everyone fights against the virus together. Leisure centres help and support people to improve their physical and mental health wellbeing and boosts individual immune systems through the undertaking of regular physical activity. As people adjust to the “new normal”, it is expected there will be an increase in obesity (health) related issues. There has never been a more important time for people to change their lifestyle and health behaviour and use their local leisure centre.
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