Swimming, outdoor spaces and active travel top Sheffielders’ list for £100m leisure upgrades

It comes as Sheffield Council sets out a new leisure strategy which will see £100m invested in facilities over the next 30 years and the city’s biggest leisure provider will return all major sport and leisure venues board entertainment.

This week, Councilor Terry Fox, head of the council, agreed on the themes for the strategy based on the consultation which he said included more than two thousand survey participants and focused sessions and focus groups with more than 300 people.

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Pool at Ponds Forge in Sheffield city center

He said: “It was really important for us to hear the opinions of people across the city and especially groups that we know face barriers to becoming active. We need our employees at the heart of our decisions and how we shape services for them, and that is exactly what this exercise is about.

“It has given us very clear priorities which we know will make a difference to people’s lives in Sheffield. Sport and leisure promote well-being in many ways, so it is essential that our offer is of high quality, accessible to all and gives people choice. We’ve committed £100m of investment for this, and that’s what we’re now working towards and looking forward to delivering.

The six key themes are: investing in an active Sheffield, inspiring sporting achievement, active communities, active children and young people, active environments and connecting health and wellbeing.

Councilor Alison Teal, Executive Member of Parks, Wellness and Recreation, said: “The themes we have identified will produce results and improvements for all of our communities and we are confident that we are creating a very exciting and exciting future. inclusive where people can experience and enjoy sport and leisure in Sheffield and be active in a way that suits them and meets their needs.

A detailed consultation report will be released in the coming months, the council said.

Who will run Sheffield’s main leisure facilities?

Last week the Sheffield City Trust confirmed that it would return all of the city’s main sporting and entertainment facilities – including Sheffield Arena, City Hall and Ponds Forge – to the council and that it would be completed by 2024, after operating them for more than 30 years.

The council is funding a £7million gap to help it reach that date and ensure a ‘smooth transition’ as well as a £4million pension shortfall, after several years of financial and health difficulties pressing the board to stay afloat.

The board said it would be “business as usual” for the trust up to this point and most staff will transfer to the new provider.

Who will support installations from 2024 is not yet known.

At a board meeting this week, David Hollis, from the legal and governance team, said the sites are expected to go out for tender this year.

He added that soft market testing is currently underway and a sourcing strategy is expected to be announced in the spring.

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