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07 Jun 2023

UK fitness sector hits record value according to State of the Industry Report
BY Tom Walker

There was a 3.9 per cent increase in the number of UK gym memberships between March 2022 and March 2023

There was a 3.9 per cent increase in the number of UK gym memberships between March 2022 and March 2023
photo: Shutterstock.com/lunamarina

The UK fitness industry's market value has reached an all-time high, despite a small drop in the number of health clubs.

Figures from the annual State of UK Fitness Industry Report, published by the Leisure Database Company (Leisure DB) today at the Evolve conference in London, show that market value during the 12 months to March 2023 increased by 11.5 per cent, with a rise in average monthly membership fees.

Revenues were also boosted by a 3.9 per cent increase in the number of members during the 12-month period.

The increases in member numbers and market value were greater in the private sector than in the public sector – and were achieved despite a small and not statistically significant, 0.9 per cent fall in the total number of gyms and health clubs in the UK.

Other headline figures from the report include:

• Budget chains, PureGym and The Gym Group, were the two leading operators in terms of new gym openings in the 12 months to the end of March 2023

• The average price of a gym membership currently stands at £44.92 – but there are big regional differences. The costliest memberships are in London (£69.81 per month, 55 per cent above UK average) and the most affordable in Yorkshire and Humber (£35.52 per month, 21 per cent below UK average)

• The UK’s top 10 public sector operators account for just under 30 per cent of all public gyms, but almost 40 per cent of both public sector members and public sector market value

• The UK’s top 10 private sector operators, meanwhile, account for 30 per cent of all private clubs, but more than 60 per cent of private sector members and almost 60 per cent of private sector market value

David Minton, founder, Leisure DB, said: "These results show a newly-honed fitness sector emerging from the pandemic, leaner yet arguably stronger and more resilient.

"Although the devil is in the detail, they suggest that the pandemic, inflation and higher energy costs will, in the long term, be seen to be good for the industry.

"The evidence to support this view runs throughout the report, with data highlighting a new mindset around membership and yield.

"In 2023, the UK has slightly fewer gyms overall than in 2022, yet more members, with penetration rates also recovering.

"More notable still, market value has reached an all-time high, driven by rising average membership fees."

To order the full report, click here for the Leisure DB website.



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