Abbey Leisure Centre

Project Overview

To redevelop the existing Abbey Leisure Centre facilities as part of the council’s Leisure Transformation Programme.

Client: Durham County Council

Project value: £3.5 million

Partners: ISG, Axiom, GT3 Architects, UK Leisure Framework

About the Project

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. Alliance Leisure is delivering a number of projects for the programme, which will introduce a range of new activities and services to help improve health and wellbeing outcomes and sustain the council’s provision into the future.

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.

It’s rewarding to work on projects where we are able to give leisure facilities a new lease of life, by providing the latest attractions that bring the whole family together. We are proud to have played our part in delivering this project and look forward to seeing the centre thrive for years to come.
Craig Savage
Alliance Leisure Framework Lead, ISG

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.

Our brief was to review Durham County Council’s leisure estate and develop solutions for centres across the county to meet the needs of each local demographic. Our research showed that Abbey Leisure Centre was not being used to its full potential. We therefore proposed to transform the site into a family focused centre offering facilities for toddlers to teens alongside an expanded health and fitness offer.
Sean Nolan
Business Development Manager, Alliance Leisre

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