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HEALTH & FITNESS ‘Jury out’ on further spending cuts

Continued cuts to local author i - ties’ cultural and leisure budgets could undermine the health and wellbeing of com- munities and add to the skills and experience gaps young people are currently facing. Tat is the conclusion of a new report from

the Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association (CLOA), which has examined the impact of austerity on arts and leisure budgets based on submissions from 52 local authorities. Te report found that a high proportion of

local authorities had been forced to make cuts exceeding 15 per cent over the past three years, with areas such as sport and leisure facilities, plus sports development the hardest hit. It noted that sports and leisure facili-

ties – alongside tourist information centres and libraries – have been the most suscep- tible to closure and said that more must be done to highlight the consequences. “The closure or cessation of facilities and

services may indicate that decision-makers are unaware or unconcerned about the impact these services have on health and wellbeing, economic development and community cohesion,” wrote the authors of the CLOA report. “This sug- gests the need to raise understanding amongst elected members and with chief executives.” Te report found that a combination of greater

Don Valley athletics stadium closed due to council cuts

commercialisation of services, more commis- sions for leisure services from the health sector and alternative delivery models (such as through zero-subsidy leisure trusts) has so far helped to largely stave off the impact of funding cuts. However, CLOA notes that the “jury

is out” in terms of whether the sector has the resilience to make further reductions on a scale that has continued since 2008. “Should this trend (of spending cuts) con-

tinue, a further significant reduction in provision will undermine the vital role culture and leisure play in improving the health and wellbeing of local communities,” the report’s authors warned. Details:

Mark Anthony set to expand Rush Fitness

Fitness trainer to the stars Mark Anthony plans to expand his low-cost gym concept Rush Fitness in sites across southeast England. Having launched the

first two Rush Fitness sites – Uxbridge and Southend – in 2013, Anthony will now open a new health club in Aylesbury this August, with at least one more to follow this year in London Woolwich. Anthony previously owned

his eponymous club in Notting Hill – where he trained celeb- rity clients including Katie Price, Billie Piper and Lucy Mecklenburgh – before selling the site to Heartcore Fitness in July 2014 to focus on Rush. Te independently-owned Rush clubs are a

low-cost, no-contract proposition, with a nota- ble emphasis on group fitness. Te Aylesbury gym will offer pre-opening membership from £12.99 per month, rising to £24.99 per month. “We believe that results driven by motivation,

not a 12-month tie in, should be the catalyst for a long standing gym membership, so there

© CYBERTREK 2015 Te stylish Aylesbury club will have a range of different workout areas

will be no joining contract,” said Anthony. “And unlike many low-cost gyms, Rush Fitness will offer a wide range of classes free to all members, including Spinning, Fast & Furious, Boot Camp, Mind & Body, and even Look Good Naked!” Leisure design and build specialist

Createability has started work on the Aylesbury club – a £450,000 project to develop the 1,000sq m (10,764sq ſt) site in Friars Square shopping centre. Intenza Fitness will be the main equip- ment supplier. Details:

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