Our aim



Sport and physical activity provide both direct and indirect social and economic benefits to our national and local economies.
In terms of social value nationally, the evidence shows increasing physical activity generates:

  • A return on investment of £3.91 for individuals and society for every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity
  • £9.5bn of health and social care savings, through prevention of serious physical and mental health conditions (including diabetes and dementia)
  • £20bn of value in stronger and safer communities
  • £42bn of value for improved life satisfaction for participants and volunteers.

Indirectly, sport and physical activity benefits the wider economy. People who are physically active are more productive than those who are not and take less time off work.

Gross Value Added - of sport in Greater Manchester is £1.245m per annum (£598m via people participating in sport).

What have we done?

Throughout the year, we worked to lead and influence in support of the physical activity, leisure and sport sector, with the shared aim of mitigating the economic and physical activity impact of the pandemic. We convened and engaged with strategic and operational groups to enable collective leadership in the Covid-19 response. We worked collaboratively alongside GM Active, Local Authority Officers and Chief Executives, Sport England, our National Governing Body representatives and wider community and voluntary sector leaders.

This helped us identify and articulate risks, highlight issues that were being experienced, and raise the agenda with senior leaders and national partners. Our work helped to inform recovery bids, supported by the Sport England response to the pandemic, with community level data, insight and intelligence. We also supported communications and the distribution of up-to-date information through local networks as part of scenario planning.

Throughout the year, our work continued to support the economic and physical activity impact of major events, such as the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup (2021) and the Women’s Football European Championships (2022). We have event host cities throughout Greater Manchester and investment into legacy programmes creating new opportunities to get involved and get active.

Towards the end of 2020, we undertook a review of this area of work to align to the new Local Enterprise Partnership Vision. This started the shift to a more holistic approach to the relationship between physical activity, sport and an inclusive economy, alongside the wider work in Greater Manchester to address structural and systemic inequalities in the economy, health and other areas.

This year has been a journey to some new ways of working and priorities with the physical activity and sport sector. We have built relationships and understanding and trust has grown between partners within Greater Manchester and between national and local partners. We created t to continue to work in this way as we emerge from the pandemic.

A new network of partners who are engaged in the GM Moving in Action work have identified some key priority areas under the holistic economic vision. We have engaged members of the Local Enterprise Partnership alongside voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) leaders, work and health and Active Workplace leads. These relationships and connections will help to take the economic priority work into a new phase in 2021-22.

Further details

For more information on the impact physical activity can have on the economy contact Richard@gmmoving.co.uk.