Monday 12 January 2015

A leisure operator has been selected by Sheffield City Council as the preferred bidder to run the new leisure facilities at Graves tennis and leisure centre and at Thorncliffe in High Green.

The final stages are underway for Places for People Leisure to operate the multi-million pound developments at the two new venues, which will incorporate swimming pools, gyms and health and research facilities as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM).

The new developments represent the biggest investment in leisure facilities in Sheffield in the last 20 years. These state-of-the-art venues will serve significant catchment populations in the south and north of the city and the unique relationship with the NCSEM – an Olympic Legacy project – brings health and wellbeing services under one roof, with leisure and sports at both sites.

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. Its selection follows a market tendering exercise run by the council over recent months.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Appointing an operator is an important step on the way to the opening of these two new leisure centres.

“The council looks forward to working with Places for People Leisure in delivering these state-of-the-art new facilities for Sheffield’s residents.”

The operating contract will be for 10 years and will require Places for People Leisure to operate the facilities on behalf of the council, thereby guaranteeing full and affordable public access.

The Graves centre has been operated by Sheffield City Trust since 2011. The council would like to thank Sheffield City Trust for their successful operation of the venue.

We will continue to work closely with the trust on its ongoing and successful operation of other venues across the city, and recognise the wider contribution that Sheffield City Trust makes to Sheffield.

Places for People Leisure will operate Graves from April this year during the redevelopment phase and then manage the new Graves facilities – on the same site – from the opening in early 2016. It will also manage the Thorncliffe venue from its opening in early 2016.

Staff at Graves and at Chapeltown Pool – which will close when the Thorncliffe venue opens – will transfer to the new venues. Places for People Leisure has also confirmed that there will be additional job opportunities across the two venues 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 very proud to be the council’s chosen leisure partner to operate these exciting new facilities for the next 10 years, which will undoubtedly encourage greater participation from all sections of the community to become more active and healthy.”

Building work on both developments is set to begin in the next few weeks.