Edition number 15; dateline 5 December 2008

Building a better mousetrap twice a month

It has been said that a recession serves to find what the auditor missed and a down-turn in the economy certainly tends to create different perceptions of value. Suddenly – or so it seems – everyone is unnaturally careful how, and with whom, they spend their money. Twas ever thus but Vanessa Bone’s determination that Creative Cultures, her partnership with Brian Mitchell, had “to earn a living but with work that had to be interesting and of value” struck a chord with many of us who had gathered in Eltham to bid her farewell.

Recession or no recession, there is never a really good time to start a business but if your only aim is to make money you have so much more to lose. It is in this spirit that we have decided to launch The Leisure Review News & Jobs as a new fortnightly magazine for the sport and leisure sector. Much as we might like to think that this fits in with our status as arch-contrarians, it is not quite the demonstration of uninhibited, devil-may-care free-thinking that it might first appear. The Leisure Review first made its appearance as an online magazine for the leisure sector because we (the editor and the managing editor) wanted to write about the sector in which we had worked for so long. We were still interested in the people and the processes of sport, leisure and culture in all its guises. While various organisations fought for prestige and title rights around us, we feared that people working in the sector might lose a voice at the very time the national agenda seemed to be grasping the potential of what sport, leisure and culture could be – and had been – achieving on behalf of a whole list of different departments. In his excellent book on journalism and his career in it Andrew Marr wrote that “a community which has no printed record of itself begins to disintegrate” and The Leisure Review was created to serve along these lines. It would be, we hoped, a magazine for the sport and leisure sector, produced for and by people who are part of the sector, passionate about it and committed to it. The print version, we decided, would have to wait until finances allowed but in the meantime we were (and have been) delighted to discover that several thousand people each month take the trouble to read what we have to say on their behalf.

From the outset feature articles have been at the heart of The Leisure Review; the minutiae of news was provided better elsewhere by the wonders of the web or by publishers with far larger staff resources than ours. However, there were certain news items that we knew would either not get covered by the trade press or would not get seen from an angle we thought appropriate to the interests of many within the industry. As a result the news page of TLR has grown and is, as far as we can tell, one of the most popular pages of the magazine. Conversation along these lines with colleagues at Sports Structures Recruitment Limited led us to wonder whether the market might be in a position to bear another title. Fairly swiftly we arrived at the position of launching a new printed magazine for the sport and leisure sector as a partnership between TLR Communications and SSR Ltd. The Leisure Review News & Jobs will be launched in the new year.

So, a sister for The Leisure Review. What will make this new title different from those magazines already available to the discerning sport and leisure management professional? We like to think that there will be a new approach to news; a new understanding of what the sport, leisure and culture sector comprises; and a new perspective for the organisations and individuals working to develop, preserve and promote the sport and leisure opportunities and facilities that are so important to communities across the UK.

Currently we are furiously hacking away at the proverbial typeface to hit a January deadline that will allow us to start the new year with a new title. We may not get it precisely right from the very first issue but we will be working hard to make sure we get it right quickly thereafter. We think that there are readers out there who will be interested in the TLR take on their industry and we hope that there are enough advertisers out there to make it viable. We shall see. If you would like to receive the first issue (and subsequent issues) of The Leisure Review News & Jobs, if you would be able to be part of the distribution network or if you think you might like to advertise, please get in touch. Contact details can be found on the news page.

Jonathan Ives



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The Leisure Review was created to serve along these lines: it would be, we hoped, a magazine for the sport and leisure sector, produced for and by people who are part of the sector, passionate about it and committed to it.”

John Wilkes: publisher, miscreant and muse

an independent view for the leisure industry








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