Produced by the ukactive Research Institute and powered by the DataHub, this report is the first to put a definitive number on the importance of public leisure to communities, particularly at a time when local authority budgets are under threat.

Social value now sits at the heart of strategic investment into sport and physical activity, and rightly so. Every delivery and commissioning organisation should have a consistent, credible, accurate and up to date understanding of what good looks like and how to deliver it locally, accounting for different environments and opportunities

Developed in partnership with Experian, Sheffield Hallam University and 4 global, the Social Value Calculator uses evidence based academic research linked to intelligence from the DataHub to accurately measure and value the impact of sports and physical activity offered in leisure facilities. Operators using the DataHub’s Social Value Calculator are successfully tendering for new contracts with key intelligence on what community savings can be generated to hand, and they have a clear pathway by which to deliver this value.

Key Findings:

  • The report demonstrates the major value that leisure centres provide to the communities that they serve.
  • Community leisure in the UK contributes £3.3bn in social value. A figure which takes into account improved health, reduced crime, increased educational attainment and improved life satisfaction (subjective wellbeing).
  • Swimming provided almost a quarter of a billion pounds (£229 million) in social value in 2017, the most of all activities taking place in leisure centres, which was closely followed by fitness (£202 million).
  • At an individual level, members of leisure facilities generate greater social value (£431) than casual users (£424).
  • Frequent members (visiting 4+ times a month for 9-12 months in the last year) generate over £1,000 more Social Value per person than infrequent members.
  • As an activity, Group Workouts provide the highest social value per person at £431 each year.
  • Football is the activity which has by far the largest social impact on education and crime.
  • Golf and Group Workouts are the two activities with the largest social impact on health and wellbeing.
  • The overall Social Value generated by the 651 sites has increased by £49 million over the last year.