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 News | Jobs | Sign up for our free e-zine 23 January 2022 
20 Dec 2021
Fitness leaders write to PM Boris Johnson, asking for 'urgent action'
By Tom Walker
Fitness leaders write to PM Boris Johnson, asking for 'urgent action'
Sandy Macaskill, founder of Barry's UK, appeared on Sky TV arguing for leading London boutique operators
Photo: Barry's
Ten UK fitness industry leaders have written an open letter to the Prime Minister, Boris
Johnson, calling for urgent action to help businesses survive the latest pandemic restrictions,
which are again placing financial pressures on parts of the sector.

The letter – signed by the CEOs of London-based boutique operators, 1 Rebel, Frame, Barry's, Core Collective, Psycle, Tri Yoga, Kobox, Barrecore, Boom Cycle and Ten Health & Fitness – calls for urgent financial support by way of grants, an extension of the moratorium of forfeiture for tenants, a reduction in the VAT level, and the reintroduction of the flexi furlough scheme.

Crucially, it also calls for fitness to be recognised as an extension of the health system apparatus and a key industry that relieves the burden of the NHS by keeping London and the UK active.

There is also a demand to secure an agreement, from the government, that the fitness industry should "never be closed" – even if there is another lockdown.

"While we recognise December was a crucial month for the hospitality industry, January and February are crucial months for the fitness industry and constitute circa 50 per cent of yearly revenue capture," the letter reads.

"Save the fitness industry by saving January and February. The fitness industry needs urgent help so that we can urgently help keep the UK active and healthy."

The letter was followed by Sandy Macaskill, founder of Barry’s UK, being interviewed by Sky News.

"We've been through a tricky two years," Macaskill said.

"The PM and chief medical officed (CMO) last week telling everyone to stay at home has resulted in a crisis of confidence among the public – and a fall in numbers across the fitness sector.

"That's what this letter is about, raising awareness. Over the past two years we've heard a lot how hospitality has been hit hard, but our sector – which helps keep people fit and healthy – has been hit just as hard, if not harder."

Here's the text of the letter in full:

OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER FROM THE LONDON BOUTIQUE FITNESS INDUSTRY

“There is no situation, there is no age, and no condition, where exercise is not a good thing”.
Professor Chris Whitty, April 15th 2020.

London’s fitness industry has been decimated by a lockdown in all but name. Attendance to London’s boutique
fitness industry has been slashed. The sector is now on a knife-edge fighting for survival.
This letter calls on the government to take urgent action otherwise it risks a major reduction in the supply of
fitness facilities as businesses go bust through no fault of their own.
WE NEED:
* Urgent financial support by way of grants, an extension of the moratorium of forfeiture for tenants, a reduction in
the VAT level, and reintroduction of the flexi furlough scheme.
* To be recognised as an extension of the health system apparatus and a key industry that relieves the burden of
the NHS by keeping London and the UK active.
* Agreement from government that the fitness industry should never be closed even if there is another lockdown.
Whilst we recognise December was a crucial month for the hospitality industry, January and February are crucial
months for the fitness industry and constitute circa 50% of yearly revenue capture.

Save the fitness industry by saving January and February. The fitness industry needs urgent help so that we can
urgently help keep the UK active and healthy.


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