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Departmental Buildings

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies have spent on rooms for staff leisure in each of the last five years. (324436)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department provides subsidised gym facilities for its staff. (324564)

All members of the armed forces are required to maintain a level of physical fitness that allows them to fulfil their service obligations. As a result, gymnasiums located on military establishments are free to use by service personnel and in certain circumstances, where capacity allows, by civilian staff. In those isolated locations where a service gymnasium is not available, local subsidised arrangements are put in place, if possible, solely for service personnel.

While MOD also allows existing on-site accommodation in some establishments to be used for fitness purposes and in doing so meets the cost of changing facilities, lighting, heating and any other utilities, it does not use public money to subsidise the running or equipping of gymnasiums for civilian staff. These gyms are run either through the auspices of the Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) and funded by member subscription, or from other subscriptions from the users of the individual gym. Grants are also available from the Defence Sports and Recreation Association, which is the MOD departmental association of the CSSC, and is funded by grant from the CSSC and a local lottery.