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Economic Impact of Sport

Sport Worth Over £2.6 Billion a Year to the South East’s Economy

Research commissioned by Sport England shows that sport-related economic activity in the South East reached a record high of £2.64 billion in 2005. This includes everything from sales of sports clothing and equipment, to jobs in the sports industry - a 10 per cent increase since 2003.

The South East’s sport-related economy has outstripped that of any other region in England, and the value added to the South East economy by sport-related activity in 2005 was 75 per cent greater than the English average (£2,640 million compared to £1,519 million).

The South East also has the greatest level of sports participation in the country; bringing in an impressive £640 million to the nation’s economy.

Judith Dean, South East Regional Director at Sport England, said:

“This research shows how important a role sport plays in the local economy. More people than ever before are spending money on sports-related activities, whether it is watching sport, joining gyms through to buying the latest sports equipment.

We hope that this increase in activity, equating to some £7.9 billion since 2000, will also help get more people active in 2008. As sporting spend increases in the region, we hope it will give people a better, and healthier, quality of life.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Sport-related economic activity in the South East increased from £2.41 billion in 2003 to £2.64 billion in 2005; an increase of almost 10%*.
  • Consumer expenditure on sport in the South East increased from £2.16 billion in 2000 to £2.78 billion in 2005; an increase of nearly 30%.
  • The highest category of consumer spending is ‘participation subscription and fees’ (this includes gym membership) at £642 million in 2005 - more than sports-clothing and gambling categories.
  • Spending on sports-related equipment in the South East stood at £195 million in 2005, more than any of the other English regions.
  • Sport-related employment in the South East stood at 71,600 jobs in 2005, an increase of 6,600 jobs (10%) since 2000.

The research was carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of Sport England.

*This is based on current prices.


© South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), 2009 
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