Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, which is operated by Places for People Leisure in partnership with Sheffield City Council, has appointed a new sports manager.

Alasdair Ford, who will be based at the new £16m leisure centre in the south of the city to develop  tennis and gymnastics provision, has more then 20 years experience in the leisure industry, including tennis coaching at clubs in Sheffield and also managing tennis, badminton, squash and racquetball at David Lloyd Leisure in Solihull.

Mr Ford said: “My key areas of responsibilities will be the development of tennis, gymnastics, trampolining, swimming and football.

“My immediate focus areas are to develop clear communication paths between customers and the centre, actively seeking feedback to work with customers to improve our level of service and product offering.

“I will also be developing clear and transparent coaching paths and social programmes that are understandable and accessible to everyone.”

Isobel Bowler, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is great news for sport in the city and specifically for the development of sport at the Graves centre, which is currently undergoing a major rebuild.

“Alasdair is the product of a new initiative between the council, Places for People and sports governing bodies and we wish him well in his twin goals of promoting participation for all and supporting our talented sportspeople.”

In what is the biggest investment in leisure facilities in the city in the last 20 years, two new state-of-the-art leisure venues are under construction both at Graves and also at Thorncliffe in High Green.

National operator Places for People Leisure was selected earlier this year to run both of the multi-million pound new leisure and health venues, which will open in 2016.

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

Both centres will also incorporate 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.

Richard Cowley from Places for People Leisure added: “The appointment of Alasdair is a significant step in our plans to offer people in Sheffield in top class coaching and facilities, and we are excited to have Alasdair join the team.”