Torridge District Council has appointed Chris Keeble as chief operating officer of its leisure arm, Active Torridge.

Chris brings with him over 25 years of experience within the leisure industry having previously managed a number of large facilities across Devon and Cambridgeshire.

The centre manager for Torridge Leisure Centre since 2022, Chris has worked to achieve the shared vision for leisure provision in the district and will take on the position of chief operating officer from March 1, to lead its next phase, in partnership with the council.

The appointment is hot on the heels of the council’s investment commitment for Torridge leisure centres, which will see energy saving measures put in place over the next financial year, to save on future spending. The announcement formed part of the council’s budget setting process and sees Torridge Leisure Centre in Northam and Torrington and Holsworthy swimming pools benefit from the £100,000 aimed at future proofing the facilities for Torridge residents. In support of the council’s investment, Active Torridge has also submitted a £1.7m bid to Sports England for energy efficiency measures at all three leisure centres.

Chris said: “Having worked as part of the Active Torridge family for the last two years, delivering to achieve the strategic goals and objectives of the organisation, I am committed to delivering the best leisure services we can for the local communities we serve.

“As chief operating officer I’m looking forward to shaping the future of leisure provision in the district and will continue to ensure we innovate, look to implement best practice at every opportunity and build the sustainable, accessible and high-quality offering that Torridge deserves.”

Councillor Ken James, chair of the Active Torridge Board, said: “I am delighted to welcome Chris to his new role. I believe that his enthusiasm, combined with his extensive experience in the industry, will help us achieve our goals for leisure across the district. Chris will play a key role in making a positive difference to the health and well-being of our communities.”

Established by Torridge Councillors in 2021, Active Torridge was formed to undertake the running and expansion of leisure services in the district from its previous contractor 1610.