Sheffield leisure centre closed due to ‘heightened risk to customers and staff’

Council chiefs are working with bosses at a Sheffield leisure centre in an attempt to reopen the venue as soon as possible after it was forced to close.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 08:59 am
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 16:06 pm

Thorncliffe Leisure Centre closed on Thursday after travellers set up camp in its car park for the third time in four months.

Bosses at the facility said the decision had been made due to the ‘heightened risk to its valued customers and staff’.

In a statement, they said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances Thorncliffe Health and Leisure Centre will close [on Thursday] at 4pm and remain closed tomorrow morning.

Thorncliffe Leisure Centre. Picture: Scott Merrylees

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“We will provide updates on the situation across our website and social media platforms.

“We will be communicating this message to swimming lessons and will continue to provide updates in due course.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

It is the third time in four months that travellers have set up camp at the site, which is run by Places for People.

A shocked mum also claimed a five-year-old boy tried to steal her phone outside the centre.

The mum, who did not wish to be named, said a young boy approached her and tried to steal her phone from out of her hand while she was checking emails.

In a further statement, Thorncliffe bosses said: “We’re closed due to the heightened risk to our valued customers and staff during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

They added: “We’re working with all official bodies within the city council to resolve this problem permanently. We appreciate your support and understanding during this time.”

Travellers were ordered to leave the Thorncliffe Leisure Centre last month and managers were forced to close the venue temporarily on Sunday.

But it is now closed until further notice.

It is the third time in four months that travellers have set up camp at the site, which is run by Places for People.

Coun Mark Jones, Sheffield Council’s Cabinet member for environment, streetscene and climate change, said: “In the case of Thorncliffe, we are aware of several complaints from people in the area and the management of the nearby Places for People leisure centre.

“This is clearly unacceptable and we will be convening a multi-agency approach including South Yorkshire Police to resolve this issue quickly.

“We have also advised Places of the steps it can take to avoid this happening again. We understand the concerns of people in the area and are taking this very seriously indeed.

“We will always work with those who respect our city wherever possible.”