Business in Sport & Leisure (BISL), the umbrella group representing leisure and sports industries, has announced that former Ladbrokes chief executive Chris Bell is to be its new CEO. Meanwhile, Simon Johnson, who most recently served as chief operating officer for England’s bid to host the 2018 football World Cup, is the new chairman. John Brackenbury, BISL founder, said: “This combined level of experience, knowledge and expertise will undoubtedly add to BISL’s growing reputation as the authoritative voice in and for sport and leisure and help it to rise to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead representing an industry which employs some 4m people and creates 27% of all jobs for young people.” Johnson will replace David Teasdale, who becomes vice chairman, while Bell is to replace Dominic Harrison, the interim chief executive for 12 months. Meanwhile, BISL has called for more Government support to help the leisure and sports sectors, which the group said could create 100,000 new jobs by 2014. That’s a key theme of BISL’s conference, which takes place today at Lords Cricket Ground in London and features Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose and Harriet Harman, the Shadow Culture Secretary, as speakers. Enterprise Inns chief executive Ted Tuppen is also due to speak. Harrison said: “The tourism and heritage brief should be about strategic joined-up thinking; for example the night-time economy is incredibly important to tourism and has a massive knock-on effect to retailers, hotels, attractions and transport providers. Similarly, ‘gambling tourism’ is a powerful economic driver, which delivers local, regional and national benefits. “I know that delegates are looking forward to hearing from our distinguished guests regarding their strategies for growth and their recommendations for private operators. We are moving into a different political phase and BISL will continue to address the hurdles preventing sport and leisure from playing its full part in a jobs-led economic recovery.”