Our senior team

Managing Director (Interim)

Paul Nourse

Paul’s journey with Places Leisure began in 2023, adding a new dimension to our collective expertise.

With an extensive career spanning over four decades, Paul has made his mark across diverse sectors, with a primary focus on consumer-centric industries driving organizations towards exemplary customer outcomes. Complementing his wealth of experience is an MBA, a testament to his commitment to continuous growth and excellence.

In addition to Places Leisure, Paul is member of the Places for People executive team.

Beyond his professional achievements, Paul is happily married and a proud parent to two accomplished adult children who have embarked on careers in sustainable energy insurance and behavioural science, reflecting his family's commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

Paul has a passion for road cycling channelling into it the same determination and resilience that defines his professional outlook.

Business Development Director

Dan Walker

Dan has worked for Places Leisure for over 15 years and has been Business Development Director since 2019. He is particularly proud to have delivered several new leisure management contracts with his team, and prides himself on building mutually beneficial relationships with partners to achieve common goals, whilst working in a truly collaborative way. His highlights include, attending the International Business School in Barcelona, championing the Teenage Cancer Trust organisation, which is dear to his heart, and raising three children who all understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Away from work Dan is an avid football fan and is regularly charging up and down the country in search of a live motor sport event, along with keeping fit at his local leisure centre. He also enjoys fundraising, having cycled from London to Paris for ‘Against Breast Cancer’ and has recently run the Exeter half marathon for the ‘Teenage Cancer Trust’.

In addition to his Directorship at Places Leisure, Dan much enjoys being part of the Places for People Senior Leadership Team.

For Dan, a healthy community means opportunities for everyone in a truly inclusive way.


Operations Director

Tom Goodhand

Tom began his career as a Trainee Duty Manager at Cleethorpes Leisure Centre in 1983. After a brief flirtation with accountancy, he started with Places Leisure (formally Crossland Leisure & DC Leisure) in 1988 and quickly progressed through a wide range of operational posts culminating in his current role as Operations Director. Married and the proud father of three children, together they let off steam enjoying and suffering the ups and downs of following Grimsby Town FC……the only way is up!

Tom feels lucky to work in a dynamic industry which plays such an important role in improving the health and wellbeing of the communities we are privileged to serve. He has recently joined the Places for People Senior Leadership Team.

For Tom, a healthy community means equal opportunities for all.

Strategy Director

Chris Payne

Chris joined Places Leisure in September 2022. After serving in the Army and Royal Marines for 20 years, Chris was keen to continue to give something back to the communities in which we live.

With two young boys he understands the importance of establishing healthy habits which will last a lifetime and he is passionate that the opportunities to develop these habits are accessible to all. A graduate in aerospace engineering from the University of Southampton, Chris loves to solve problems and there is nothing more important than the UK public health crisis.

Chris also has the privilege of sitting on the Places for People senior leadership team. His happy place is outside in the mountains, even if it involves coaxing his sons up another hill.

For Chris, a healthy community means together as one.

People Director

Clare Garcia

Clare joined Places Leisure in 2009 as our HR Manager. Having studied Personnel Management at Plymouth University, Clare has embarked on a career following her passion for all things people. She has worked in the technology, retail and car hire sectors, enabling Clare to bring a broad range of experience to her role at Places Leisure in helping to care for, develop and grow our talent.

Married and with a young family, Clare understands all too well the pressure of juggling work and a busy home life, and is an advocate for developing support for working parents. In her spare time you will find Clare happily running around after her children (or napping).

For Clare, a healthy community means acceptance.​

Commercial Activites Director

Jamie Brown

Jamie joined Places Leisure in 2013. He has enjoyed over 29 years in leisure having served his apprenticeship as a Lifeguard, Fitness Instructor, Aerobics Instructor, and Membership Advisor. Prior to joining Places Leisure, Jamie held roles such as Development Director and Operations Director. He started his career with Places Leisure as a Contract Manager and quickly progressed to his current role through a series of promotions. Jamie puts his success down to learning from those around him, making the most of every opportunity, and spoonful of good fortune. He is passionate about sport and physical activity and improving the health and wellbeing of the communities we proudly serve. Outside of work you will find him in the gym, walking the dog (his exercise buddy) and coaching his son’s football team.

For Jamie, a healthy community means togetherness and empowerment.

IT Director

Keiron Butcher

Keiron joined Places Leisure in April 2023. His early career was at McDonalds in operational and support service roles. He then embarked on the next stage of his career in the leisure sector in 2010. Since then, he has worked for a breadth of leisure trusts and social enterprises. Whilst at activeNewham, Keiron led a project that brought to life the first reception-less and cashless leisure centres in the country. He has a real passion for data and encourages all around him to use it to its fullest. When he is not working, Keiron enjoys a busy home life with his partner Martin, their two dogs, and a cat. Together they enjoy swimming, gardening and walking; and can often be found in the highlands of Scotland escaping their technology-based lives.

For Keiron, a healthy community means being your authentic self.

Risk Director

Keith Evans

Keith started his journey as a leisure assistant in 1993 whilst studying Leisure Management at college. Keith worked in several roles in both the public and private sector before becoming a General Manager in 2001. Keith started with Places Leisure (formally DC Leisure) in 2004 developing himself personally and professionally through the opportunities and pathway available moving on to become a Contract Manager, Area Manager and now Risk Director.

Keith is driven by a genuine care for others and takes pride in creating safe environments where everyone can thrive.

Away from work Keith is a keen golfer and an avid cricket and Tottenham fan: time with his young family allows him to rekindle his inner child and free spirit.

For Keith, a healthy community means providing a safe and enjoyable environment that everyone can access.

Projects Director

Martin Anderson

Martin joined Places Leisure in June 2014 having worked as a consultant to the company for many years prior. Martin is a Chartered Surveyor with over 40 years’ experience and for the majority of that time has worked on the construction of every type of leisure centre including low-cost gyms to high end private spas and the best being those for Places Leisure. He has also worked in a wide range of other sectors from aviation, to pharmaceuticals, to hotels. This breadth of experience is invaluable in supporting the development of our leisure facilities.

Martin is an avid Fulham fan and season ticket holder. When he is not at Craven Cottage he is wrestling with a small puppy who has replaced his two grown children.

For Martin, a healthy community means expanding the experiences available to everyone.

Head of Business Development

Damian Watts

Damian has experience spanning 30 years within the leisure industry. He joined Places Leisure in 2003 as general manager, before moving into a contract management role in 2006. In these roles, Damian took pride in developing and nurturing talented colleagues whilst ensuring the commercial success of several new build facilities. After achieving success as an operator, he made the switch into our Business Development team in 2013 and was appointed Head of Business Development in 2020. He is a married father of 3 teenagers and a keen sportsman/volunteer who has spent a decade of his spare time coaching both junior rugby and football.

For Damian, a healthy community means togetherness and positivity.