A major new sport and exercise medicine centre has just opened at the Concord Sports Centre in Shiregreen, Sheffield, offering physical activity as a treatment for a host of ailments on the NHS.
The new centre is part of a Department of Health initiative, with Sheffield being one of three partners (along with Loughborough and London) which combine to form The National centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM). The NCSEM is a London 2012 Olympic legacy commitment and is part of a broader attempt to leverage a participation culture post Games.
The scheme is geared to creating a more active culture and encouraging the medical profession to prescribe using physical activity as medicine rather simply prescribing drugs.
The Concord development is the first of three initial centres being developed in Sheffield as part of the NCSEM project and will complement two sites under construction in High Green and Norton.
Martin Crookes, Head of Estates for Sheffield City Trust which runs the Concord Sports Centre through its operating arm Sheffield International Venues, told Premier Construction: “£30M of government funding has been allocated to the NCSEM scheme, with London, Loughborough and Sheffield receiving £10 million each. The scheme in Sheffield is focused on making it easier for people to be active as part of their NHS treatment as well as everyday life.”
“The scheme in Sheffield is being carried out in conjunction with local partners including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University; The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust.
“The idea behind the NCSEM scheme in Sheffield, which is now beginning at our Concord centre is that the clinicians based at the centre will work hand in glove with the sports centre staff to gradually introduce people to a culture of exercise and regular activity, bringing real benefits to their health and well-being.”
Main Contractors for the project to create the new centre at Concord were Castle Building Services Ltd, who were commended for their performance on the scheme; architects were Race Cottam Associates and mechanical and electrical consultants were JSH Consulting Ltd.
The project involved the refurbishment and conversion of the ground floor of the Concord Sports Centre’s two-storey North changing block into a facility which has its own dedicated entrance and reception area, seven consulting rooms, two post-treatment review rooms, a meeting room, podiatry room and a clean/dirty changing facility.
The works included the total strip-out of the old 1970’s-built changing rooms and showers and the creation of the new NCSEM accommodation on the ground floor of the block, as well as the installation of new replacement outdoor sports changing facilities and showers on the first floor.
Further works involved the replacement of all the original windows in the block with new, larger windows, the fitting of powder coated steel cladding to the external elevations, the installation of new energy-efficient LED lighting and the refurbishment of all the general circulation areas.
New external paving was also laid and new signage installed.
“Castle Building Services have done a very good job, under a tight programme and we are very pleased with the whole project team” said Martin Crookes.
The project started on site in July 2014, and opened to the public on 9th February.