Ambitious investment plan for leisure and entertainment facilities

Sheffield’s leisure and entertainment venues are set for £117m worth of investment.

Plans include rebuilds to of some of the city’s most popular leisure centres and improvements to Sheffield Arena and City Hall.

Following extensive consultation and research, a competitive procurement process will be launched later this month to attract providers to run Sheffield’s venues.

Plans outlined by Sheffield City Council include a complete rebuild of Springs, Concord and Hillsborough Leisure Centres.

In addition, a new partnership with the Football Foundation worth £2m will see investment in the Woodbourn Road football hub.

Councillor Richard Williams, chair of the Communities, Parks, and Leisure policy committee, said: “We need facilities and open spaces that are fit for purpose, places that people want to visit and enjoy.

“Sheffield is one of only three cities in the UK to host a National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine.

“A significant part of our success lies in working closely with our partners such as the NHS, the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

“Working together to deliver the city’s Move More strategy enables us to ensure Sheffield residents have the facilities they need to live happy, healthier lives.”

Councillor Tom Hunt, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is renowned for sport, leisure and entertainment with our venues hosting many elite events and high-profile shows.

“We’re proud of this but we know that many of our facilities need significant investment. Our plans will ensure there are modern, accessible leisure facilities across the city and they will ensure Sheffield has the venues to compete on the national and international stage.

“We’re working with our partners to deliver excellent, low-cost facilities across the city.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’ve developed a long-term vision that will protect and enhance our much-loved venues.”

Some of Sheffield’s leisure and entertainment facilities are owned by community organisations and others, including Graves and Thorncliffe, are run by Places Leisure.

The longest standing arrangements – which come to an end in 2024 – are those with Sheffield City Trust (SCT), an independent charity which runs the city’s sport, leisure and entertainment facilities, including Ponds Forge, Hillsborough and the Arena.

The procurement for future leisure and entertainment providers will be structured into three packages. Each bidder will have the opportunity to tender for the packages that best suit their expertise:

  • Services for Sport and Leisure (including golf facilities)
  • Entertainment facilities – City Hall
  • Entertainment facility – the Arena

Complementing the SCT facilities, the contract with Places Leisure to operate Graves, Thorncliffe and Wisewood leisure centres is due for review in 2026.