Who we are
GM Active is a collective of 12 leisure and community organisations from across Greater Manchester that are all part of the same movement, to get more people physically active. The group accounts for 87 leisure and sports facilities across the region, with a combined reach of 30 million visits a year, playing a major role in the health of our communities.
GM Active collectively employs a total of more than 3,500 people and reaches about 30,000 people with targeted physical activity, health and wellbeing programmes every year. Together the members of GM Active manage the bulk of the publicly owned leisure and physical activity assets and services on behalf of the 10 local authorities, for the good of the whole population, across the of the City Region of Greater Manchester.
The UK is fighting an inactivity crisis responsible for 37,000 deaths a year and costing the economy an estimated £7.4bn per year. Sedentary lifestyles are increasing the risk of up to 20 conditions, including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancers and mental health problems. The situation is putting pressure on our National Health Service and damaging our communities, both in terms of failing mental and physical health, and social division and isolation.
GM Active’s innovative model enables us to act as an agent of change, leading from the frontline to improve lives in Greater Manchester by engaging more people in physical activity. We know 39% of people living in Greater Manchester are not active enough to benefit their health, life expectancy here is much shorter than the national average, and the cost of this inactivity across Greater Manchester (including absence from work) is £324m per year.
We also know only 72% of the population are classed as active or fairly active, so we are playing a lead role in supporting the GM Moving strategy, which aims to get 75% of people active or fairly active by 2025.
Alone, our organisations could never reach their fullest potential to turn the tide of inactivity, but by working in collaboration, creating a common cause and unified voice, we can work with and alongside our health colleagues and other major stakeholders in a devolved Greater Manchester to achieve much more for the wider community.
By sharing knowledge, expertise and resource between our organisations, we can improve our services, deliver and co-produce the best, most cost-effective solutions to meet local needs. GM Active ensures that the physical activity agenda is prioritised by decision makers and influencers, taking a person centric, asset-based solution-focused approach to conversations with local authorities and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.
We support the GM Moving strategy by making physical activity more accessible and help to deliver its ambitions for a vibrant and growing physical activity and sports sector. Despite our combined powers, we also recognise that GM Active cannot answer today’s health and social challenges alone. That is why our partnership approach extends beyond our sector, to other bodies and authorities, ranging from GPs and local health services to the prison service and schools. As such, we have demonstrated the thought leadership necessary to inspire trust and faith in our profession to answer society’s biggest challenges, from disability and inclusivity, to criminal justice and workplace wellbeing.
Together, we are expertly placed to answer these challenges for Greater Manchester and help to build the healthy, happy and prosperous region that we all aspire to.