Leisure facilities in Wales not given additional support in Spring Budget 2023
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, announced the UK Government’s Spring Budget 2023 on Wednesday afternoon, revealing that there will be no further support for leisure facilities in Wales.
The Chancellor announced a £63m package that will support swimming pools in England with energy costs and energy efficiency, although has not provided targeted support for those in Wales.
“I have listened to representations from the honourable members from East Devon, North Cornwall, Combe Valeey, Central Suffolk, and Nort Ipswich,” the Chancellor explained, “about the risk to community facilities – especially swimming pools – caused by high costs.
“When times are tough, such facilities matter even more, so today I am providing a £63m fund to keep our public leisure centres and pools afloat.”
In total, £40m of the fund will be made available for investment in decarbonisation and long-term energy efficiency, while £23m will help with costs to make the facilities more energy efficient.
The Welsh Sports Association (WSA) is severely disappointed by the decision from the Chancellor and UK Government to create an England-only scheme and omit Welsh leisure facilities from any additional financial support through these challenging times.
Our leisure facilities represent vital community hubs through whih all in society are offered essential services, which is why their maintenance and existence are so important.
The WSA will continue to work with the Welsh Government and Sport Wales on the future of public leisure.
We are committed to providing as much support as possible for our membership base amid the incredibly challenging financial landscape that currently threatens the sector. Our Procurement Portal, for example, has already supported grassroots clubs with their energy costs to great effect. We will also continue to host sector calls to address the situation, having delivered the first recently. Please get in contact with the WSA team if you didn’t receive an invitation to the last but would like to attend the next.