Alliance responds to the Spring Statement 2022

westminster ()

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has responded to the government’s Spring Statement, delivered this afternoon by the Chancellor.

CEO of the Alliance, Lisa Wainwright MBE said: “We note the Chancellor’s Spring Statement today and the measures contained within it.

“We are disappointed that the Chancellor did not take the opportunity to provide further targeted support for our sector as it seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time absorb rapidly rising energy costs.

“These challenges are placing huge pressure on our member organisations at a time when activity levels are still recovering and remain depressed amongst key groups, notably those on lower incomes who tend to be less active and who will be hit hardest by cost of living increases despite the additional measures announced today.

“Today’s statement confirms that, far from being temporary, prices are expected to rise further meaning that many parts of the sport, recreation and physical activity sector – notably public leisure facilities but also wider grassroot community sport providers – will face the difficult choice to either pass on additional costs to users, or to scale back provision.

“In the worst case, we are likely to see the closure of valuable facilities which support huge amounts of sport and physical activity in local communities.

“As we have called for alongside our sector partners, we believe further action is necessary to address the short-term cost pressures facing the sector, but also to identify a longer-term strategy which ensures local facilities meet local needs in a sustainable way.

“We also reiterate our urgent call for clarity on funding for PE, school sport and physical activity for the coming 2022/23 academic year to provide certainty for schools and the wider sport and physical activity sector workforce, including the School Games Organisers, which supports them.

“We will continue to work alongside our partners on the National Sector Partners Group to engage constructively with national and local government to ensure the sector can recover from the pandemic and play its fullest part in supporting national health, wellbeing and resilience.

“We will also engage on relevant tax reforms set out in the Spring Statement Tax Plan which can support the sector to grow including reform of the Apprenticeship Levy.”