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State Aid

State aid: New model for the financing of the Kippermoen fitness centre approved

2.5.2013

PR(13)38

This week the EFTA Surveillance Authority closed its case concerning the financing of the fitness centre at Kippermoen Leisure Centre (KLC). The closure comes after Norway agreed to change the financing of KLC so that it complied with the the state aid rules of the EEA Agreement. 

Kippermoen Leisure Centre is owned by the municipality of Vefsn and is located in the city of Mosjøen. While the users of the fitness centre are mainly local residents, the fitness sector in Norway is subject to cross border investment. The Authority therefore concluded that aid to fitness centres may affect competition and trade within the EEA. 

The Authority considered that the financing of the fitness centre at KLC constituted existing state aid which was incompatible with the functioning of the EEA Agreement. It therefore proposed that the Norwegian authorities implement certain changes in order to ensure that the commercial fitness centre activities would not be subsidised by public resources. 

The Norwegian authorities agreed to the Authority's suggestions and assured the Authority of their full implementation from the reopening of KLC, once the current renovations are completed. The changes proposed by the Norwegian authorities include: 

  • A clearer separation of accounts between the fitness centre activities and the other activities of KLC.
  • The municipality of Vefsn, as owner, will require the fitness centre to generate a reasonable rate of return.

The Authority has however accepted that the Norwegian authorities can continue to provide subsidies to the fitness centre to compensate for rebates on tickets granted to certain groups of individuals.

In light of the fact that the Norwegian authorities have committed to implement the above mentioned changes to the financing of KLC, the Authority has decided to close this case.

For further information, please contact:

Per Andreas Bjørgan
Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
(+32) 2 286 18 36




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