Sheffield leisure centres become 1st in UK to bring in 'sugar tax'

Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A health and wellbeing charity, which operates 11 sports and leisure venues in Sheffield, is set to become the first in the UK to add a 'sugar tax' to fizzy drinks.

Sheffield City Trust is adding a 20p charge to all drinks with added sugar sold at cafes and vending machines in its SIV leisure facilities.

SIV, part of the not-for-profit Sheffield City Trust, will reinvest the money in obesity and diabetes prevention programmes for young people, pledging a minimum of £25,000 to the initiative.

Ponds Forge in Sheffield one of the venues to introduce the tax on all drinks with added sugar Credit:

It runs venues including the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, iceSheffield, Beauchief Golf Course, Concord Sports Centre and the English Institute of Sport Sheffield.

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.

Steve Brailey MBE, chief executive of SIV,

In May 2016, the chancellor George Osbourne announced a new sugar tax on the soft drinks industry aimed at high-sugar drinks.

The move was endorsed by the health community and the most high-profile supporter has been celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has introduced a sugar levy in his restaurants.

Oliver said on social media: "We did it guys!" adding it was a "profound move that will ripple around the world".

Read: The new sugar tax - some key facts