Tuesday 10 March 2015


Construction work has now begun on the new £7m “North Active” sports development in High Green.

This development at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground, along with the new Graves project in the south of Sheffield, will be the first leisure developments in the city in a decade.

Operator Places for People Leisure was selected earlier this year to run both of the multi-million pound new sports venues, which will open in 2016.

The centres will incorporate swimming pools, gyms and health and research facilities as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM). This unique relationship with the NCSEM – an Olympic Legacy project – brings health and wellbeing services under one roof, with leisure and sports at both sites.

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “I am very pleased to see that work is starting on site and we are another step closer to making this fantastic leisure centre a reality.

“Both this development at North Active and the new £16m centre at Graves will not just be traditional sports centres, but will bring swimming pools, gyms, sports facilities and health services together.

“It is especially pleasing that, in this time of austerity, our partnership working with organisations such as the NCSEM and Sport England is enabling Sheffield City Council to drive these important developments forward and invest in the health of our future generations.”

Places for People Leisure operates more than 100 leisure centres across the country and has been UK Leisure Operator of the Year for the past two years. It will manage North Active from when it opens its doors in Spring 2016.

Staff currently working at Chapeltown Pool, which will close when North Active opens, will transfer over to the new leisure centre.

There will also be additional job opportunities available both at North Active and at Graves into 2016 and beyond, further details of which will be made available in due course.

Tim Hewett, Business Development Director for Places for People Leisure said: “We are delighted to see that the building works on the city’s new sports facilities has commenced.

“These new facilities will be a tremendous asset to the city and to the residents that will use them.

“As the council’s chosen leisure partner to operate these facilities on their behalf, Places for People Leisure looks forward to their opening, which will undoubtedly encourage greater participation from all sections of the community to become more active and healthier.”

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, said: “The commencement of the building work for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine Hub at North Active is really exciting.

“It is a significant step towards achieving the vision for this ambitious project and will make it easier for people in Sheffield to be active as part of their everyday lives.

“Part of that journey is about using physical activity within a patient’s recovery and rehabilitation as well as using it to prevent ill health. The facilities at Graves, High Green and Concord have been designed to support and co-locate patients, clinicians, researchers and exercise professionals as a way of making that happen.

“Seeing the vision come together in bricks and mortar is very satisfying. Physical activity must become part of everybody’s daily living.”

The start of construction work comes at a time when Sheffield City Council is backing Sport England’s “This Girl Can” campaign and investing in physical activity sessions across the city, in a bid to encourage more girls and women to take up sport and get fit.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Here in Sheffield we have a proud sporting heritage and it is important that we build upon that to create the right environment in which the sportsmen and women of the future can train, develop and thrive.

“But it isn’t just about the elite, it is about every man, woman and child in our city being fitter, healthier and enjoying physical activity.

“This new leisure centre at High Green, along with the facilities that are also set to be developed at Graves, will be a top-class venue at which people from all walks of life can swim, take part in team sports and join in fitness sessions to make them happier and healthier.”

Sport England has invested £1m of National Lottery funding from its Iconic Facilities Fund towards the building of the new centre as well as working closely with the project team to provide detailed advice and support on the development of the plans.

Charles Johnston, Sport England Property Director, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Sheffield City Council with their plans to improve the city’s community sports facilities.

“First-class, local facilities are vital to getting more people playing sport regularly and the new North Active centre, together with the Graves tennis and leisure centre, will be a great addition to the city.”