New Government must take the lead to make the UK healthier, happier and more prosperous

10 Downing Street door ()

The National Sector Partners Group (NSPG) has issued the following statement following the result of the 2024 General Election.

We welcome the newly elected Labour Government and look forward to working with it to unlock the full potential of the sport, recreation and physical activity sector to achieve the five missions set out in its manifesto.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer faces an in-tray including a physical and mental health crisis across all ages, a stagnant economy, concerns about community safety and growing inequalities.

The sport, recreation and physical activity sector can play a major role in addressing these challenges and transforming the lives of millions by improving physical, mental and social wellbeing from childhood onwards; taking pressure off the NHS; creating a healthier, more productive workforce; fostering community cohesion; reducing crime and anti-social behaviour; and strengthening PE and school sport.

Rather than an afterthought, the principle of getting more people, more active, more often must be embedded as a priority right across Whitehall. It needs to be led from the very top of Government and it needs to be backed by proper investment.

We call on the new Government to pledge to make the UK the most physically active nation in Europe. This is no small task, but the prize is enormous: it would deliver an additional £3.6bn in economic growth, £1bn in NHS savings and £71bn in wellbeing benefits.

The new Government has the opportunity to work with our sector, take the lead, and drive that change. The sport, recreation and physical activity sector stands ready to play its part in delivering a healthier, happier and more prosperous nation.

Commenting, Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO Lisa Wainwright said:

“Throughout this election campaign, we have seen how the sport and recreation sector can be used to tackle a huge range of priorities… the need to grow the economy, fix the NHS, cut crime, tackle climate change and reduce inequalities.

"We know that sport and recreation does all this and more - through cricket to yoga, and dance to orienteering. Getting more people, more active consistently leads to better social and economic outcomes.

"It is now time for the new government to step up and show their commitment to the sector as the vehicle for social change we know it to be and not just a photo backdrop.

"This requires a renewed sense of ambition and prioritisation from policymakers. For our national politicians to step up, take the lead and make the UK the most active nation in Europe.

"I look forward to working with the Prime Minister and his government to deliver the true potential of the sport and recreation sector.”

The National Sector Partners Group (NSPG) includes the following organisations:

Active Partnerships

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

Sport for Development Coalition

Sport and Recreation Alliance


Youth Sport Trust