SIV chief executive announces retirement

1st March 2017

The chief executive of the organisation which runs some of Sheffield's key leisure, wellbeing and entertainment venues has announced his retirement after more than 21 years at the helm.

Steve Brailey, who took the top job at the Sheffield City Trust (SCT) and its operating company SIV in 1996, will step down from the role in August this year. The 61-year-old, who was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to the leisure industry, is looking to take time out to travel with his wife, as well as spending more time with his elderly parents in Devon. Steve has dedicated his entire career to leisure innovation, first converting a floating barge into a public house in Grimsby. In 1989, he managed the development of a three floor, ten-pin bowling centre and the first 'Brannigans' theme pub, which led to the concept's roll out throughout Great Britain. He moved to Blackpool Tower in 1991 to oversee a £17 million facelift before becoming Chief Executive of SCT the health and wellbeing charity - in February 1996. Through Steve's strong leadership, innovation and a forward-thinking approach, the SCT and SIV have been instrumental in transforming Sheffield's underused and closure-threatened sports facilities built for the World Student Games into highly sought after, modern and innovative venues for the whole community, as well as for elite sports men and women from Jessica Ennis-Hill to the GB Olympic boxing squad. Steve's vision and determination has seen the SCT's portfolio of international and community sports and entertainment venues expand to 17 venues, including the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, iceSheffield and the Sheffield Arena and including locations in Derbyshire, Scarborough and Whitby. The SCT's charitable status means that all income is reinvested back into improving venues and activities for communities across Sheffield. Its primary objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Sheffield. In recent years, he has ensured that the SCT has embraced the growing demands of the health and wellbeing agenda by developing a number of initiatives including the GP Exercise Referral Scheme, Fitness Unlimited, which has grown its membership to more than 15,000 members, and by leading the way in the UK with the introduction of a sugar tax on all unhealthy fizzy drinks across its facilities. The organisation also played a key role in the development of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at Concord Sports Centre. Steve said: -It's been an absolute honour to have worked in such a rewarding role for so many years. To look back on everything we've achieved over the last 21 years is actually quite unbelievable. But none of it would have been possible without the dedication, commitment and expertise of a tremendous group of executives, trustees, managers and staff, who have all played a critical role in delivering our huge range of successes and achievements for the benefit of the people of Sheffield. Steve's team of more than 1,200 staff help to stage more than 2,000 events per year and have enjoyed many significant accolades. During his time as chief executive, the Sheffield Arena has been voted nine times music venue of the year, SIV's sports facilities have attained some of the highest Quest management scores in the country, whilst its Fitness Unlimited gym membership is an unprecedented quadruple winner of the Fitness Industry Association's award, Centre of the Year. Steve added: -I'm now looking forward to taking some time out to travel to places we've always wanted to visit, as well as spending more time with my parents in Devon. My dad suffers from Alzheimer's and I've been a committed fundraiser of the Alzheimer's Society something I will do more of in my retirement. -However, during the next six months I will remain completely committed to the SCT and do everything possible to ensure we continue to develop and maintain a successful charity. I am entirely confident that our facilities will remain crucial assets for the people of Sheffield and play a pivotal role on the overall health and wellbeing of the city. Alex Pettifer, chairman of the 7 Hills Leisure Trust, which is part of Sheffield City Trust, said: -Steve has been a determined and dedicated chief executive throughout his time at SIV. He has developed, encouraged and motivated people to the highest standard and will be an extremely difficult person to replace. -His retirement comes at a challenging time for the organisation but we are confident that the example he has set will be taken on by everyone across the organisation, as well as his successor. We all wish Steve the best of luck with his pending retirement. Steve's replacement will be announced in due course.

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