Newly appointed Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire visits Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Her Majesty The Queen’s personal representative in South Yorkshire has visited Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park in her first month in the role of Lord-Lieutenant.

Professor Dame Hilary Chapman DBE was appointed HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire on the retirement of Mr Andrew Coombe CVO on 5 November 2021.

Dame Hilary, who was one of the country’s most prominent chief nurses, began and ended her main NHS career in Sheffield, retiring three years ago as Chief Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Her tour included current educational, sporting and health care research facilities as well as visiting the sites of planned major developments in the next phase of the world’s only Olympic legacy park outside a host city.

Dame Hilary said: “It was wonderful to visit Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park recently and I would like to thank my hosts Dr Chris Low and Claire Fretwell for giving me the opportunity to do so.

“Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is at the heart of the regeneration of Sheffield’s East End and the potential impact it will have on the economic, health and social regeneration of the City is limitless.

“There is national and international interest in the ongoing developments, and it is now a lasting legacy from London 2012 in the heart of South Yorkshire.”

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park already houses the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, and the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering.

Further investment totalling more than £200m is planned at the Park as part of a Master Plan being delivered by development partner Scarborough Group International.

Planned developments include a ground-breaking AI diagnostic imagery research hub for Canon Medical Systems Europe as well as a world-first national Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT).

The Master Plan is expected to generate over 5,600 high value jobs and includes the creation of a 120,000 sq ft Innovation Centre to support fledgling businesses in the health, wellbeing, sport, and activity sectors.

Dr Chris Low, Legacy Park Ltd Chief Executive, said: “It was a real privilege to welcome Dame Hilary to the Park and show her all the exciting things taking place.

“She has had an impressive career in nursing here in Sheffield and has made major contributions to health policy, healthcare delivery and system reform. With this background, she really understands the challenges faced by the health system in the UK and we were able to discuss in depth the vision of the Park and what has already been achieved.”

Dame Hilary co-led the development of the Safer Nursing Care Tool, which is now used widely in hospitals across the UK. She remains involved in the dissemination work and additionally, chairs the National Digital Nursing Oversight Board on behalf of England’s Chief Nursing Officer.

She is an Honorary Professor at Sheffield Hallam University, an Honorary Doctor of Medicine at Sheffield University, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and has served on the National Institute for Healthcare Research Advisory Board.

Dr Low continued: “Dame Hilary has first-hand experience in developing innovations that have a real impact on healthcare, so this was a perfect opportunity to show her what is being developed at the Park, particularly our focus on the prevention and management of long-term conditions.”

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park was set up after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver whole population improvements in health and wellbeing through the legacy themes of Sport, Community, Environment and Economy,

Bringing together expertise from academia, elite sport, the NHS, and public and private sector organisations, the Park is creating a cluster of life sciences assets including research centres, business incubators, educational facilities and laboratories for collaborative research and innovation in health and wellbeing.