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Local Government Physical Activity Partnership

The Local Government Physical Activity Partnership was established in 2017.

The main aim of the partnership is to empower local government agencies to work collaboratively to improve and articulate the social and economic value of public physical activity service provision.

Our Ambition

The Local Government Physical Activity Partnership is ultimately focused on finding ways to tackle inactivity. To enable this ambition, we want to be involved in early conversations about relevant government strategies and white papers to help create the whole system approach needed to build back a healthier, fairer society.

This will include:

  1. Using our collective influence to direct national debate and enable local conversations.
  2. Understanding and maximising the impact of our networks and combing our regional work
  3. Improving how we make the case.
  4. Horizon scanning.

Our Aims

Currently, Councils spend over £1 billion on health and fitness facilities, leisure centres and swimming pools, greenspaces, grass pitches and health and wellbeing services per year. The range and depth of provision at all stages in life is what makes public leisure unique.

Physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds. Regular physical activity contributes to preventing and managing risk of serious illness such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

There are huge pressures on the NHS, social care and leisure services. The cost to the NHS for treating obesity-related ill health is forecast to rise to £9.7 billion per year by 2050. Yet, community sport and activity generate £85.5 billion of social and economic value in England. This equates to a return on investment of £3.91 for every £1 spent.

The physical activity sector has an essential role to play in Government’s levelling up ambitions. People from lower socio-economic groups are twice as likely to be inactive than the more affluent. People who are on lower incomes or unemployed depend on affordable and/or subsidised public leisure provision when they are unable to afford the monthly membership fee of private sector gyms. Only 42% of children and young people with a low family affluence score can swim 25 metres unaided, compared to 86% of those with a high family affluence score.

Repositioning sport and leisure services as strategic partners, particularly in shaping places, contributing to levelling up agenda and tackling health inequalities is an opportunity for the leisure industry to transform and be recognised as a crucial partner. Leisure and physical activity experts need to lead and be involved in key discussions such as planning and designing sports and leisure services and facilities of the future, colocation with other services, regenerating high streets and neighbourhoods and connecting services and green spaces.

As part of our work, we aim to improve coordination and strengthen collaboration with a coalition of council services and partners to reduce inactivity and address health inequalities. Whilst, highlighting the key role public leisure and sport services have to play in providing preventative services, reducing the number of long-term conditions, and addressing inequalities.

The Partnership aims to help local authorities across England to find solutions to challenges by emphasising and supporting independent, transparent and informed long-term decisions.

Our Focus

Our Partners

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