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Leisure centre operator SIV introduces sugar tax

By Tom Walker    22 Jul 2016
SIV is adding a 20p charge to all drinks with added sugar sold at cafes and vending machines / Shutterstock

Sheffield City Trust, the wellbeing charity which manages 11 sports and leisure venues through its Sheffield International Venues (SIV) arm, has become the first leisure operator in the UK to introduce a sugar tax on unhealthy fizzy drinks.

In a ground-breaking move, the trust is adding a 20p charge to all drinks with added sugar sold at cafes and vending machines at its SIV leisure facilities.

In May 2016, then chancellor George Osbourne announced a new sugar tax on the soft drinks industry aimed at high-sugar drinks – a move endorsed by the health community. The tax, however, isn’t officially expected to come into force until 2018 at the earliest.

According to Steve Brailey, CEO of SIV, the income from the additional levy at SIV facilities will be reinvested in its entirety in obesity and diabetes prevention programmes.

“We’re proud to be the first leisure operator in the UK to make this bold move,” he said.

“Obesity is a major issue in Sheffield with more than half of all adults obese or overweight and this is contributing to an alarming rise in Type 2 Diabetes. The sugar tax is one of a number of projects SIV is delivering to improve the health and wellbeing of Sheffield people.

“By introducing the sugar tax, we hope to shift customer demand from fizzy to healthy alternatives. And, by reinvesting all money generated through the tax in new health projects, further improve the health and wellbeing of Sheffield people.”

SIV operates facilities including the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, iceSheffield, Beauchief Golf Course, Concord Sports Centre and the English Institute of Sport Sheffield.

The company’s fitness membership scheme, Fitness Unlimited, has more than 18,000 members and runs 19,000 classes a year.

Sugar tax  fitness  obesity 
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