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Yorkshire Sport Foundation appoint first Active Design Manager

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Posted 18th November 2019

Yorkshire Sport Foundation (YSF) has welcomed Steven Heywood as the charity’s first ever Active Design Manager.

Steven’s appointment brings the organisation expertise from over two decades in the landscape architecture industry, covering all aspects of landscape design with specialisms in community, urban, resort and leisure projects.   He was worked on projects locally and internationally; from small scale to large scale.

A significant part of Steven’s practice relates to developing healthy communities with spaces to nurture wellbeing, including creation of spaces to improve physical activity through access to the landscape, education and social inclusion.  These have included a masterplan for Fountain Primary School in Leeds to promote learning, curiosity, and involving children in physical activity for all abilities.

Steven has also worked on a project which regenerated Castleford Flour Mill into a community hub that would include fitness, health and wellbeing initiatives and promote community involvement.

He joins YSF having spent the last 12 years at Leeds Beckett University, most recently as senior lecturer and researcher in the Department of Architecture and Landscape.  Previous roles have seen Steven design for prestige clients in the tourism and leisure industry such as Disney, Universal and Busch Gardens.

“Health and wellbeing and being active is very much on the agenda at the moment,” said Steven. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the districts a bit better and where they are at with their active policies.

“I think my experience in park design, urban design and bringing activities into communities can be an asset.  I love working with local communities and I’m really looking forward to getting involved.

“I can see a lot of crossover with local and regional projects I’ve been working on in my previous role, and I’ve already started getting in touch with people in my network about how we can work together.  I think a big part of my role will be to translate any jargon between those who work in activity and those who work in design, to hopefully increase the speed at which we can work alongside them.”

Nigel Harrison, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, added: “We know the environment plays a significant part in people’s ability to be active. We felt it was important to bring someone into the organisation with the knowledge, contacts and expertise from the landscape design industry, and we’re delighted to have Steven working for us.

“Steven comes with a personal and professional passion for using the environment to provide more opportunities for people to be active. We are confident that his appointment will bring a stronger connection between the sport and physical activity sector and those who design external spaces.”

To get in touch with Steven email him at steven.heywood@yorkshiresport.org or call 07772586778.

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