Tuesday 15 March 2016

State of the art, new Thorncliffe Health and Leisure Centre in High Green, Sheffield will open its doors to the public on Wednesday 1 June.

The £7million development will incorporate a 6 lane x 25m swimming pool plus dedicated learner pool, a major fitness suite and studio plus specialist health and research facilities as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM).

Construction is nearing the final stages on the first new leisure facility to be built in the north of the city in a generation.

Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council said: “We’re so close now to the opening of these brand new facilities – it’s a really exciting time for Sheffield in terms of health, sport and leisure.

“Through our excellent partnerships with the NCSEM, Sport England, Ecclesfield Parish Council and Places for People we can bring everything under one roof which means huge benefits for the health and wellbeing of people in the area.

“We know that physical activity plays a massive part in keeping well and improving physical and mental health and I would urge people to find out what’s on offer at this top-class venue, where you can make that change to a happier and healthier you.

“And by investing in developments like this we are also investing in our sports men and women of the future and providing opportunities to build on Sheffield’s proud sporting heritage.”

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Using exercise as part of a patient’s recovery and rehabilitation as well as using it to prevent ill health has been proven to have significant benefits and Sheffield will be looking to take advantage of this through the new National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine and the fantastic facilities here at Thorncliffe.

“Changing the culture to make it easier for everyone to be active every day is a long journey. However, what we have developed here at Thorncliffe, and at the other NCSEM sites at Graves and Concord is a significant milestone in that long-term project and shows that we are serious about transforming Sheffield into the most active city in the UK.”

The appointed operator, Places for People opened their membership books in January and have said it is the most successful pre-opening membership they have seen, with around 500 people already waiting to get active at the new centre.

Alex Greaves, Sheffield Contract Manager for Places for People said: “It’s very exciting to see good progress being made on the construction.

“This exciting new facility will provide fantastic opportunities for members of the local community to engage in a number of different sporting and fitness activities, and will help to achieve our goal of creating active places and healthy people.”

Sport England is investing £1m of National Lottery funding from its Iconic Facilities Fund towards the building of the new centre, and have worked closely with the project team to provide detailed advice and support on the development of this project.

Charles Johnston, property director at Sport England, says: “We have been working closely with Sheffield City Council on plans for Thorncliffe leisure centre and are now really looking forward to it being open to the public. It will offer all kinds of fantastic facilities for those living in High Green – and Sheffield as a whole – which will help to boost the number of people that are active in the area.”

Cllr Richards also added her thanks to the Chapeltown Pool Trust, a dedicated group of volunteer trustees and paid staff who have successfully run Chapeltown Pool since the 1990s.

Staff from Chapeltown pool, which closes on Tuesday 24 May, will transfer to the new Thorncliffe centre when it opens a week later. Customers at Chapeltown will find business as usual until the closing date and many of them are also transferring to Thorncliffe and are eagerly awaiting its opening. One customer, Trevor Beebe said: “I have been a member of Chapeltown Baths for several years and have really enjoyed my time there. The staff have been great so it will be good to see familiar faces at the new centre when it opens. I have already joined and can’t wait to see the new facilities, it’s going to be fantastic for the area.”

Councillor Sheila Constance, Chairman of Ecclesfield Parish Council said: “The Parish Council is proud to have supported Chapeltown Baths for over 50 years and in particular would like to thank the dedicated trustees and staff at the pool. We’re pleased that the customers and staff will enjoy a seamless transfer to the replacement facility at Thorncliffe and we’re delighted to have worked closely with the City Council in both planning the new centre and being a key investor in its funding.”

The development is funded by the City Council, Sport England, NCSEM and Ecclesfield Parish Council. Places for People will operate the centre under a 10 year contract to the City Council, but it will not require on-going subsidy from the ratepayer. The City Council will work jointly with Places for People to ensure the venue attracts high levels of usage and operates on an affordable and accessible basis for local people.

Various membership packages are available and Places for People are offering new members one month free with a three month membership, or three months free with a 12 month membership.

An information point is open seven days a week at Ecclesfield Parish Council (right next to the Thorncliffe site), where members of the public can pop in to find out more about what’s on offer and sign up for membership.

Alternatively people can visit the Thorncliffe website at www.thorncliffeleisurecentre.org or call 0845 8800606 with enquiries.