Wednesday 7 January 2015

Planning applications were yesterday (Tuesday 6 January) approved for two new state-of-the-art leisure centres in Sheffield, representing the city’s biggest investment in new leisure facilities in a generation.

The developments, incorporating swimming pools and gyms as well as health and research facilities as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), will be built on the site of the current Graves tennis and leisure centre in the south of the city, and on a corner of Thorncliffe Recreation Ground in High Green.

The £16m Graves development will include a six-lane 25m replacement for the existing swimming pool, a separate learner pool, a major new fitness suite and studios, two additional indoor tennis courts and the city’s first-ever dedicated gymnastics and trampolining centre.

This centre will be the city HQ for the new NCSEM – a 2012 Olympic Legacy project funded by the Department of Health – with extensive provision for health consultation, specialist treatment services and research facilities.

Meanwhile, the £7m North Active complex in High Green is set to include a six-lane 25m swimming pool and learner pool, a multi-use studio and a fitness suite, over two levels.

It will also house NCSEM facilities including health consulting rooms, treatment rooms and space for other services such as podiatry.

Funding for the schemes will come from bodies including Sheffield City Council, the NCSEM, the Lawn Tennis Association, Ecclesfield Parish Council, British Gymnastics and a potential contribution from Sport England.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said: “I am pleased that the plans have now received formal planning approval and we can begin the creation of two major, modern leisure and health centres in the north and south of our city. There are also plans for further development of outdoor sport and leisure facilities at both sites and these will be confirmed in the coming months.

“The Graves Centre will not only dramatically improve the quality of leisure and sport infrastructure for local residents, but will also draw people from across the city and beyond to use the specialist gymnastics, trampolining, tennis and innovative health facilities.

“This is the biggest investment in sport and leisure in Sheffield in a generation and we are grateful to our funding partners who are supporting the building costs. 

“Meanwhile, the North Active development at High Green will see a modern health and fitness providing a modern pool for north Sheffield. Like the new Graves centre, it will bring together health services and physical activity under one roof through the Olympic legacy partnership with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine.

“With NCSEM redevelopment work already started at Concord, these three centres offer our city an innovative approach to health by helping people increase their levels of physical activity.”

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