Hot on the heels of reports on the value of the 2012 Olympic Games to the growth in the British economy, Sport England has published a report estimating that sport contributes just over £20 billion to the economy in England.
Significantly, grassroots sport, the mainstay of many national governing bodies of sport, makes up well over half of the contribution.
Commissioned by Sport England, the report shows that the sports industry now figures within the top 15 industries in England, outstripping the contribution from sectors such as telecoms, car sales, insurance and accounting.
Almost £12bn of the contribution comes from individuals actually playing sport and its associated spend including sports equipment, memberships and coaching. Our consumption of elite sport in England contributes a further £8.5 billion to the economy through such things as watching elite sport live at stadia or on TV, subscriptions to sports-related TV and gambling on sports (you only need to look at the number of betting companies associated with professional football to see evidence of this).
Sport England’s Chair, Nick Bitel, said:
“This report show that as well as improving the lives of millions of people grassroots sport is also having a huge impact on our economy. Put alongside the enormous value of the health benefits that sport delivers, it’s hard to overstate the sector’s contribution to our country.”
All those memberships to leisure clubs and sporting organisations has a significant impact on the health of the nation. Sport England estimates that just under £2 billion worth of saving is made in England in healthcare costs alone.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:
“Sport already makes a significant contribution to the economy but I want it to play an even bigger role in generating growth. The success of London 2012 transformed Britain’s standing in the world of sport and with a host of major events coming to the UK in the next few years we are in a great position to capitalise further.”