Responding to a Government statement today (19 November) on a winter survival package to help spectator sports in England, the Newcastle North MP called on the Government to also protect community leisure facilities so that sports activities remain accessible to everyone.
Catherine highlighted the risks faced by facilities such as West Denton swimming pool which has yet to reopen since the national lockdown in the Spring.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Catherine said:
“Community leisure facilities are the most accessible way for people to get fit and active.
“Yet we face the real prospect of sports facilities and clubs in more affluent areas of the country enjoying reopening post pandemic while those in the more deprived and disadvantaged communities remain unviable.
“In Newcastle we are very concerned that the West Denton swimming pool for example is at risk of remaining permanently closed due to the financial impact of the pandemic despite the area facing some of the worst health inequalities.
“This cannot be allowed to happen.
“Will the Minister commit to ensuring today that funding will be given for community leisure facilities post pandemic so that sport remains genuinely accessible for all?”
Community #sports should be open to everyone to stay fit & active but #covid19 risks widening the gap between affluent & disadvantaged areas. Facilities like West Denton pool now risk permanent closure. This week I’ve called on Govt to ensure sport remains accessible to all pic.twitter.com/XkwNz70Cz0
— Catherine McKinnell (@CatMcKinnell) November 20, 2020