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Coronavirus: UK gyms have lost £3.1bn to the pandemic

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Suban Abdulla
·2-min read
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Young fit woman and man running on treadmill in modern fitness gym. They keeping distance and wearing protective face masks. Coronavirus world pandemic and sport theme.
Many gyms have been closed for a large portion of 2020 and for some months in 2021 as fears of spreading the virus led to widespread lockdowns. Photo: Getty

Gyms in Britain have taken a £3.1bn ($4.3bn) hit since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with more losses expected as memberships decline. 

According to a study by Pharma Nord another £46.6m will have been lost by the 1,164,000 people who it would have expected to join in January 2021. 

Gyms are usually given an extra boost during January as getting fit is on many people's New Year’s resolutions, with 12% of all new members joining in the first month of the year alone. 

However, with the third national lockdown in England coming into effect on 5 January, this expected boost has been prevented, according to the research. 

While fitness clubs can vary in price, the Money Advice Service suggests that the average membership fee is about £40 every month.

Based on this rationale, Pharma Nord estimates that pre-COVID, gyms would typically make £388m every month.

Overall, there has been £470,000 of lost revenue per fitness club, since the first national lockdown in March last year. 

In England, indoor facilities such as gyms, hairdressers, zoos and theme parks, reopened on 12 April alongside non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality venues including restaurants and beer gardens.

READ MORE: UK gym bosses voice concern over '£500,000 a day' lockdown cash burn

Like many businesses in the leisure sector, gyms have been battered during the coronavirus crisis.

Many have been closed for a large portion of 2020 and for some months in 2021 as fears of spreading the virus led to widespread lockdowns. The loss of monthly subscriptions and unused investments in COVID-secure equipment such as PPE has been costly.

The revelations come following concerns from gym bosses that the larger chains are burning an average of £500,000 per day under lockdowns.

In January, the Gym Group (GYM.L) said that its monthly cash burn during the current COVID-19 lockdown is £5m, while the November closures cost £6m. The group said that 45% of last year’s trading days had been lost due to government restrictions.

While £300m in support was offered up for sports in the most recent budget by chancellor Rishi Sunak, the government has come under intense pressure to say what it can give to leisure centres, gyms and pools, with the industry body ukactive saying around 400 facilities have already gone to the wall and another 2,400 are at risk

WATCH: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?