Sheffield International Venues rebrand as Sheffield City Trust after 33 years
Sheffield International Venues, as it has also been known for many years, has announced it is rebranding as Sheffield City Trust with a new logo.
The not for profit organisation looks after 17 facilities across the city, including City Hall, FlyDSA Arena, Ponds Forge and Ice Sheffield and was formed in 1987 for the World Student Games.
It announced the rebrand today on its website along with a statement addressing financial challenges and saying some facilities might not reopen until the coronavirus crisis is over.
Andrew Snelling, chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, said: “At a time when the public want maximum trust in the business and organisations that are central to their lives, we want to reaffirm our commitment to the people of Sheffield.
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“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 are 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.”
The Trust was found to be "haemorrhaging" cash last year before the pandemic hit and has, like many others, struggled financially as a result of temporary venue closures which were put in place to prevent the spread of covid19.
The situation forced them to begin a consultation process which may lead to redundancies and mothball venues for the foreseeable future.
Mr Snelling said they are preparing to reopen venues but that some facilities may not be able to reopen until after the crisis is over.
“It’s vital the people of Sheffield - our members, customers, guests - understand the challenges we are working to overcome," he said.
“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 earning, 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."
It was revealed last week Sheffield Council, which is its main funder, used emergency powers to give £2.6 million to the Trust on June 29 - days before it announced consultation on redundancies.
This followed a multi-million pound bailout by the council last year which came after council reports showed the Trust was in financial difficulty. The local authority gave an emergency £1 million, then later decided to subsidise SCT annually by £2.8 million and put another £3 million towards health and safety and maintenance costs.
Mr Snelling said: "As a leisure trust, we work closely with Sheffield 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 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 country."
He went on to say more details will be released about the phased reopening once Sheffield Council has finished its review of indoor leisure facilities.
“Those facilities that can reopen may look a little different as we have to ensure the safety of our customers to 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."