Meet our Senior Management Team:


Sandra Dodd - Chief Executive

Sandra has 20 years’ experience in the leisure management sector having joined the business in 1995. She is a Chartered Management Accountant and has been a main board director since 2002 previously holding the position of Finance Director for 12 years. During this time she developed a successful finance and IT strategy to support the rapid growth of the business. She has also played a major part in the strategic operational direction of the company enabling Places for People Leisure to become the leading leisure management operator in the UK. She has significant experience in acquisitions, PPP & PFI projects. 

Sandra is a member of the ukactive board serving as Treasurer.

Carolyn D'Costa - Finance Director

Carolyn qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2002 spending her early career in practice before joining Places for People Leisure. Carolyn has been with the company for over 13 years previously holding the position of Chief Financial Officer. She has considerable experience in financial strategy and management and was instrumental in the development of finance processes and policies throughout the expansion of the business.


John Bates- Business Development Director

John joined the company in November 1991 as a Regional Operations Director, becoming Head of Business Development in April 2004 before his appointment as Business Development Director in April 2016.  He has a wealth of over 30 years of experience in the industry. John is a Fellow of CIMSPA and has a postgraduate diploma in Recreation and Leisure. He now leads a dedicated team of staff undertaking the business development function to secure new leisure management opportunities including new build projects and the extension of our existing contracts.

John Oxley - Operations Director

John has over 25 years’ experience in the leisure management sector having served his ‘apprenticeship’ as a Lifeguard, Instructor & Duty Manager with Crossland Leisure, the pioneering organisation in Local Authority leisure management and the forerunner of DC Leisure, now Places for People Leisure. John held senior leadership roles in SLM until 2007 and most recently was Managing Director of Active Nation. He has been a Director and board member of ukactive, a Bodylife Award winner, a speaker at industry events and is a current Quest board member.

He is passionate about sport and physical activity, is persuasive, challenging of convention and carries around a decent dollop of good humour.


Meet our Operating Board:


Richard Millard - Partnership Director

Rich has experience in local government, leisure trusts and 20 plus years for Places for People Leisure. Rich works closely with many National Governing Bodies of Sport, partner agencies and funding agencies and is committed to the principles of Sports Development which enable local authorities to fulfil their role in increasing participation, physical activity and improved health in their communities. Rich also works with the Business Development team to provide bespoke solutions for specific strategic needs of clients either within existing contracts or for new business. Often this involves links with Health and Education sectors. He strategically leads the functions of Health & Safety and Training in particular, to ensure Places for People Leisure provide a consistent quality service for both our clients and customers. Rich is also Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight County Sports Partnership, a fellow of CIMSPA and chairs the Sector Trailblazer Project on the future of apprenticeships in England.


Martin Anderson - Capital Projects Director

Martin is a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years experience of managing construction projects for both Private Clients and Local Authorities. Before joining Places for People Leisure (PfPL) Martin was involved in a diverse range of projects including town centre redevelopments, large infrastructure projects and defence projects.  He also has considerable experience in leisure projects starting with indoor tennis centres under the ITI scheme through to large private health clubs incorporating the latest spa and sports facilities and most recently budget gyms. His experience includes a diverse range of PFI and PPP projects. Martin’s involvement ranges from input into the technical aspects of bids through to managing the construction stages of all the major capital investment projects that PfPL undertake.


Nick Brown - Regional Director

Nick has considerable experience of leisure management having spent over 25 years working in the Industry. He has held a number of senior operational roles including that of General Manager and Contract Manager, and has also worked in various Group Support Roles. Nick currently oversees all Contracts in the Midlands and North of England, and has been responsible for setting up a number of new Contracts – the most recent being Harborne on behalf of Birmingham City Council. Nick chairs a number of Client/Contractor Partnership Boards which are designed to ensure contractual compliance and that common performance goals and objectives are being delivered.


Mark Evans - Regional Director

Having undertaken a PE degree, Mark began his career as Recreation Officer at Woking Borough Council. He has accrued over 35 years of leisure management experience working in both the public sector in senior management positions and also in several private sectors organisations. He has owned and managed a private squash and health club. Mark has a wealth of experience in taking on new contracts, site refurbishments and new developments including the mobilisation of new multi-million pound facilities such as K2 in Crawley. Mark currently oversees the contracts in the South of England.


Tom Goodhand - Regional Director

Tom began his career as Duty Manager at Cleethorpes Leisure Centre in 1983. After a brief flirtation with accountancy he started with Places for People Leisure (formally DC Leisure) in 1988 and quickly progressed through a wide range of operational posts culminating in his current role as Regional Director. While in the position of Contract Manager his site was FIA FLAME Centre of the Year Award Winner 1998 and in the same year he was Centre Manager of the Year finalist. Tom has gained vast experience in managing change, including responsibility for numerous new contract mobilisation projects, several major multi-million pound site refurbishments together with closure of old buildings followed by the opening of new state of the art facilities. During all of this he has enjoyed and suffered the ups and downs of following Grimsby Town FC…the only way is up!



To contact Places for People Leisure please use this link to complete a form and we'll respond to you shortly.

Our Record

  • Approx 8865 staff employed
  • 22 years trading
  • £3m on training per year

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