Sheffield City Trust: Reopening statement

22nd July 2020

“At a time when the public want maximum trust in the businesses and organisations that are central to their lives, we want to reaffirm our commitment to the people of Sheffield.

“To increase awareness of our charitable status and roots in this great city, we will solely be using the name Sheffield City Trust across our venues and in everything we do.

“We are doing this because our charitable, not for profit, status is incredibly important to us. We are more than just a gym, sports hall or a swimming pool – we're a Trust.

“Almost all of our staff of more than 1,000 live within Sheffield – you could say we're an organisation run for Sheffield and by Sheffield. Our new branding will reflect this.

“It’s vital that the people of Sheffield – our members, customers, guests – understand the challenges we are working to overcome.

“The entertainment and leisure sectors in which we operate have faced some of the biggest challenges. Aside from our portfolio of golf courses, our venues remain closed, and memberships frozen, meaning our revenue has been severely reduced.

“As organisations across the country face an unprecedented challenge and loss of earnings, some difficult decisions will have to be made and the Trust is working closely with governing bodies such as Sport England and UK Active, to understand and overcome the current challenges and those that lie ahead. Without further support from the Government some facilities might not be able to reopen until the crisis is over.

“As a leisure trust, we work closely with Sheffield City Council and operate venues on their behalf. The council retains ownership of the buildings which are leased to us. Recently there have been reports discussing the funding the trust has received from the council. This funding has been a lifeline and provided a much-needed boost for us, offering protection for our colleagues’ job security and our much-loved facilities across the city.

“Those facilities that can reopen may look a little different as we have to ensure the safety of our customers and make our sites Covid Secure, but although things look a little different, we're still the same charity at heart.

“As ever, the safety of our colleagues, customers and the broader community remains our number one priority, and we will not open any of our facilities until we are confident that they are safe.

“The successful reopening of our golf courses in May has given us some valuable insight into how we will operate in the future. Positively, golf remains popular, and the demand for playing time is high.

“More details will be released about the phased reopening as and when approved by Sheffield City Council and UKactive.”

Andrew Snelling, Sheffield City Trust Chief Executive.

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