ukactive’s inaugural Business Benchmarking Insight Report reveals critical market intelligence for gyms and leisure centres

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10 March 2015

ukactive today launched the sector’s first annual Business Benchmarking Insight Report in partnership with leading audit and accountancy firm Mazars.

The report delivers a comprehensive look at the business-governing trends of the health, fitness and leisure sectors based on unique data from 600 UK fitness and leisure sites with a combined membership of almost 1 million people.

The report relates to the 12 months of Jan to Dec 2014 and reveals that on average, members stay with their clubs for 17 months before moving on, but that private health and fitness centres enjoyed a longer average patronage of 24 months.

ukactive Business Performance Benchmarking is a free service, exclusively for ukactive operator members and allows operators to compare their performance against the national averages and their peers within the market in an anonymous environment.

The Insight Report shows operators experienced the highest positive movement in membership numbers in January 2014 (5.58%), with the most notable drop in membership numbers occurring in December 2014 (-2.32%).
Over the 12 month period (Jan– Dec 2014), membership numbers for Leisure Trusts increased by 0.87% on average, almost double the national average of 0.43%.

However, the gap appears to be closing between the public and private areas of the sector. The membership fee at a private site is just £8 more than at a public site, with private centres charging on average £35.77 for a monthly fitness membership. The average monthly membership fee across all sites in the UK for 2014 was £30.82.

According to the report, members remain with a site for an average of three months longer where group exercise classes are available. Facilities with a swimming pool also generate, on average, more membership revenue per month than sites without pools.

“These are increasingly competitive times and tools like these are critical to the success of all customer-focused businesses. This first Benchmarking Insight Report is part of our continuing effort to not only provide our members with a free service of significant value, but it also our commitment to analysing our sector as comprehensively as possible so that they can be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding their customers and responding to their needs.” commented David Stalker, CEO, ukactive.

“As a sector we tended to rely on internal reporting and analysis to determine how each site is performing.  However, to establish the true progress and growth of each site it is absolutely crucial that we compare our data across the whole industry. The ukactive benchmarking software provides a great platform providing reporting across five core business metrics,” said David Waugh, Systems and Technology Director, énergie

“We're delighted to have been a part of the benchmarking project. Having access to key business performance insights for the first time is not only assisting us with our own operations, but also providing the evidence to help drive funding and other opportunities from outside the sector,” Commented Dawn Sansom, Group Sales and Membership Manager at Places for People

Quarterly Insight Reports are subsequently published and made available to all ukactive Business Benchmarking participants to provide them with unique insights into the current member landscape and emerging trends for a specific period of time.

All ukactive operator members can take part for free including:
•    Private multi-site operators and private single site operators
•    Local authorities, local authority management contractors and trusts
•    Low cost operators
•    Corporate operators
•    Hotel operators
•    Outdoor operators
•    University and college facilities

To register click here

For more information about Benchmarking, or other data and insight services please contact Lucy Button at or on 0207 400 8620.


For press enquiries please contact Jon Wiffen, Marketing & Communications Manager, ukactive: 0207 400 8638

About ukactive
ukactive is the UK’s leading not-for-profit health body for the physical activity sector, with over 3,500 members from activity providers to major consumer brands, training facilities and equipment manufacturers. Members come from across the private, public and third sector and are united by ukactive’s longstanding and uncompromising commitment to getting more people, more active, more often.

ukactive facilitates big impact partnerships, conceives and drives breakthrough campaigns, conducts critical research and galvanises key stakeholders to develop and deliver key projects that support and champion the physical activity agenda. The organisation’s efforts are centred on supporting a national ambition to “Turn the tide of physical inactivity”.

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