Spring Budget 2024 – what does it mean for sport and recreation?

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The Spring Budget represented one of the few remaining political set piece events ahead of the forthcoming General Election. Overall, the Budget represented a missed opportunity to improve the health and productivity of the nation by supporting more people to be active.

Despite the Budget’s focus on increasing productivity and NHS efficiency and the Government’s broader targets to get 2.5m more adults and 1m more children active by 2030, there were few measures announced designed to support our sector to deliver on these priorities. However, below our Policy Manager Max Nicholls outlines a few announcements which may be of interest and relevance to Alliance Members.

VAT Registration Threshold

From 1 April 2024 the threshold of taxable turnover which determines whether a small business must be registered for VAT will increase from £85,000 to £90,000. This will be of benefit to some clubs and charities at or near the current threshold which will hopefully be removed from the scope of VAT.

Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund

Government has confirmed a further £5m will be available through the Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund. Village halls can apply for grants of between £7,500 and £75,000 to improve and modernise facilities, including kitchens, toilets and energy improvement measures. Village halls play a key role in supporting local communities and act as essential locations for sport and physical activity provision. The Fund is managed by Action with Communities in Rural England and further information is available here.

Long-Term Plan for Towns

Government has confirmed £400 million in new investments to extend the 10-year Long-Term Plan for Towns to 20 more places and over £30 million for capital and regeneration projects across the UK, including in Bradford and Ashfield. The Long Term Plan for Towns supports towns to invest in local priorities such as culture, heritage and regeneration (including parks and green spaces) and transport (including cycling and walking infrastructure). More detail is available here.

Invictus Games

The Government has confirmed it is supporting a UK bid to host the 2027 Invictus Games in Birmingham supported by a £26 million underwrite. It is hoped that the Games will help showcase the power of sport in supporting the recovery and rehabilitation of veterans and injured service personnel.

Gift Aid and subscription contracts

The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill will introduce new protections for consumers who take out subscription contracts. The Government had confirmed it will amend existing Gift Aid legislation so that charities can continue to claim Gift Aid while complying with these new protections.

Tax Administration and Maintenance Day

The Government will bring forward further tax administration announcements on 18 April 2024. The Alliance will monitor these announcements and provide members with further briefing as required.


The announcements yesterday will do little to move the dial on physical activity levels nor unlock the potential of our sector to contribute to wider Government policy priorities, though we have repeatedly proposed measures to do so – as laid out in Unlocking the Potential including reforms to the CASC scheme and a review of Business Rates regime.

More broadly the Budget will do little to dispel concerns over the significant financial pressures on local government and the hard choices local authorities face in deciding how and where to invest in community sport, recreation and physical activity.

In this General Election year, we challenge all political leaders to prioritise getting more people active and to commit to delivering policy change – including investment and tax and regulatory reform – designed to achieve this. Making the UK the most active nation in Europe will deliver £1bn of healthcare savings and a GDP uplift of £3.6bn per year. The full set of measure announced at the Spring Budget 2024 is available here.