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SIV chief executive announces retirement

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The chief executive of the organisation that runs some of Sheffield’s key leisure, wellbeing and entertainment venues is retiring after more than 21 years in charge.

 Steve Brailey, who took the role at Sheffield City Trust (SCT) and its operating company SIV in 1996, will step down in August. His replacement will be announced later this year.

 The 61-year-old, who has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to the leisure industry, began his career in leisure by converting a floating barge into a public house in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

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 £17m (US$21m, €19.9m) facelift before becoming chief executive of SCT – the health and wellbeing charity - in February 1996.

 Through Brailey’s leadership, SCT and SIV have helped transform Sheffield’s underused and closure-threatened sports facilities in to highly sought-after, modern and innovative venues for the community, as well as for elite sportsmen and women – from Jessica Ennis-Hill to the GB Olympic boxing squad.

 The SCT’s portfolio consists of 17 venues, including the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, iceSheffield and the Sheffield Arena, as well as sites in Derbyshire, Scarborough and Whitby.

 More recently, Brailey has helped develop initiatives, including the GP Exercise Referral Scheme, Fitness Unlimited, which has grown its membership to more than 15,000 members. He has also led the way in the UK with the introduction of a sugar tax on all unhealthy fizzy drinks across SCT facilities.

 Brailey’s team of more than 1,200 staff help to stage over 2,000 events per year and have won many 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, while its Fitness Unlimited gym membership is an unprecedented quadruple winner of the Fitness Industry Association’s award, Centre of the Year.

Brailey 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.

 “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.”

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The chief executive of the organisation that runs some of Sheffield’s key leisure, wellbeing and entertainment venues is retiring after more than 21 years in charge.