A coalition of lead representative bodies across sport, recreation and physical activity have responded to the Autumn Budget in lieu of its impact on public health. The coalition included Active partnerships, Charted Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), Sport for Development Coalition, ukactive and Youth Sport Trust.
The sector have called for the Government to clarify its commitment to the sector. With the impact of the pandemic and the stark economic challenges detailed in the announcement, the risk is that support for the sector will negatively impact public health. An honest appraisal of essential community access and participation maintenance is essential in the current climate.
The sector welcomed the extra 2.3bn per year for education. Schools across the country have faced extreme pressures, and the hope is that this will alleviate some of that burden. With the state of community sports facilities and investment in school sport, the continuing needs of pupils must be ensured.
The sector did express concern about the review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). Whilst the current proposals to reduce the tax burden and operating costs are encouraging, there is a real possibility the measures will not meet the challenges the sector faces.
With physical activity participation levels yet to recover and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 still being felt, community sport, physical activity and recreation programmes are reaching the end of their budgets without any support as to their futures. These are the programmes that need greater support if they are to continue to support public health.
To find out more about how the sector responded to the Autumn Budget, see here.