23 November 2016

A sports centre which underwent a near-£1m transformation has now been officially opened to the public by Sheffield’s champion boxer Kell Brook.

Wisewood Sports Centre, in Laird Road, Wadsley, has been overhauled by operator Places for People Leisure (P4P), which also runs Sheffield’s newly-built leisure centres at Graves and Thorncliffe.

The old gym floor has been expanded to four times its original size and has brand-new equipment, while the changing rooms, reception area and fitness studio have also undergone a facelift.

Fitness classes on offer include Pilates, yoga and circuit training. There are also netball sessions, health walks, a 3G football pitch and courts for badminton and table tennis.

A plaque was unveiled by Kell Brook and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox, to mark the opening of the new centre at an event today (Wednesday 23 November).

Mr Brook said: “I’m extremely pleased to be here at the official opening of this impressive facility. I’ve grown up in Sheffield and it’s great to see places like Wisewood Sports Centre opening up even more opportunities for Sheffielders to get more active and enjoy a love of sports.

“The centre offers a whole range of activities to encourage everyone to participate in physical activity, from those new to exercise as well as potential athletes of the future.

“It’s fantastic that there are so many people here today to make the most of what’s on offer.”

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, leisure and parks at Sheffield City Council, said: “Having top-quality leisure facilities in the heart of communities makes it easier for everyone to keep fit and well, regardless of age or sporting ability.

“I hope that people living in Wadsley, Wisewood, Loxley and the surrounding areas will go along to see what is on offer and perhaps try their hands at something they’ve never done before. There are affordable membership options available for everyone, including an exercise referral scheme from GPs for adults who are inactive or have a longstanding medical condition.

“This is a very exciting time for sports and leisure here in Sheffield, particularly with the opening of the brand new centres and FA football hubs at Graves and Thorncliffe. These facilities build upon Sheffield’s fine sporting legacy and create the right training grounds for the next generation of world-class sportspeople.”

Wisewood Sports Centre, which previously faced an uncertain future, is now in a position to be enjoyed by generations of Sheffielders to come.

Following a competitive tendering exercise last year, Sheffield City Council selected Places for People Leisure (P4P) as the preferred bidder to operate the facility.

It had been run by Forge Valley School since 2011, but this agreement came to an end when the school’s new Academy Trust decided it would not run the sports centre – which could have meant closure.

As a holding measure, the council agreed to step in and temporarily manage the centre, to ensure it could continue to operate until a long-term management solution was found.

Richard Cowley, Area Manager at Places for People Leisure, said: “We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with Sheffield City Council to ensure that we meet the needs of the local community and encourage more people to participate in physical activity.

“Our goal at Places for People Leisure is to create active places and healthy people and I am confident that the impressive new Wisewood Sports Centre will provide more opportunities for the local community to get more active.”