“A transformation for modern needs”

Abbey Leisure Centre

Durham County Council

Opened to the public in July 2023, this project forms part of the council’s multi-million-pound Leisure Transformation Programme, which includes the refurbishment of existing sites such as Abbey in order to improve the county’s leisure stock.

The centre’s four-court sports hall has been converted into family entertainment area with distinct zones catering for toddlers, juniors and teens. Attractions include soft play, a trampolining zone and an interactive Tag Active Challenge Arena including vertical obstacle towers that players must climb and descend in the quickest time possible. Incorporating Tag Active technology, players’ times are recorded and displayed on a leaderboard. The family entertainment area is supported by a new cafe, adding a social space to the centre, as well as party rooms.

On the first floor of the building, the gym has been relocated and doubled in size. The existing gym has been converted to a group exercise studio, while the provision of a second studio allows the centre to offer a full programme of group cycling sessions.

A new wellbeing suite has been created in one of the centre’s two squash courts. Offering specialist power assisted equipment from Innerva, the suite will provide a unique exercise and rehabilitation solution ideal for older adults, people suffering from long term health conditions, and those recovering from injury or returning to exercise. It is hoped the new suite will help people to become more active, improve their overall health and even act as a stepping stone into wider leisure facilities. The changing areas and sauna have also been refurbished as part of the project.

The project was delivered via the UK Leisure Framework, which is managed by Denbighshire Leisure LTD (DLL), with ISG as principal build contractor, Axiom as project manager and GT3 as architect for the scheme. The project was delivered by the UK Leisure Framework’s development partner Alliance Leisure.

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