PTs in Lancashire to be forced to pay levy if they use parks for training sessions
Wyre Council in Lancashire has revealed plans to begin charging PTs and fitness instructors for using council land for exercise sessions.
The scheme will be trialled as a free permit this year (2021), ahead of the introduction of a £25 annual payment in 2022.
It is unclear what exercise professionals will get in return for their payment, but the council said the initiative would ensure that "open spaces are protected for all".
According to Wyre Council, the pass – for which people need to apply for – will ensure that organisers/trainers hold an appropriate qualification, are fully insured, and have liability for the safety of the participants.
In a statement, the council said: "The process aims to promote health and wellbeing opportunities for Wyre’s residents in parks and open spaces.
"It enables the council to highlight the best spaces to use and the wide variety of outdoor venues that they have for this type of positive use.
"Wyre Council already promotes their open spaces for people of all ages to attend and enjoy with all the health and wellbeing benefits that they bring.
"This doesn’t replace that, it is a process that enables high-quality sessions to take place regularly in a particular venue and time.
"It helps to avoid clashes with local sports teams who have booked their venues or with local events that will start now to take place."
According to the eligibility criteria, it seems that permits will only be issued to PTs and instructors who deliver sessions to 12 or fewer participants – and each session can only last a maximum of 60 minutes (to see the eligibility criteria in full, click here).
The council also said that the passes and locations will be limited in any calendar year and the number of passes issued by the council will be determined by factors such as usage and demand in an area, the number of passes already approved in the area and possible conflicts with other users.