Hello … From Freedom Leisure

July 30 2018

The team at Freedom Leisure is delighted to be able to say a BIG HELLO to all the residents of Derbyshire Dales – we will be working in partnership with Derbyshire Dales District Council to operate four leisure centres in your area on their behalf.

For those of you that currently use Bakewell Swimming Pool, Arc Leisure Matlock, Ashbourne Leisure Centre or Wirksworth Leisure Centre we are really looking forward to sharing your health, fitness and sporting journey with you, and for those of you who may be reading this but do not currently use any of the centres – we invite you to come along on a journey with us to a fun and active lifestyle.

Together with Derbyshire Dales District Council we aim to support a happy healthy community, enabling more people to be more active more often.

We are very pleased to have been asked to manage your facilities from 1 August 2018 and are really looking forward to working with the existing team and supporting them to build upon their high quality services and facilities.

Who is Freedom Leisure?

Freedom Leisure is a not-for-profit leisure trust which manages leisure and cultural facilities on behalf of partners across the UK. We are proud to deliver high quality, locally-focussed services and are committed to their ongoing development. As a not-for-profit organisation with no shareholders, all surplus is reinvested in support of the objectives we share with our partners.

So, by being a member and customer of your local Freedom Leisure facility the fees you pay help to support projects, improvements and the services you receive.

‘Where You Matter’ is our motto – enabling people to make the most of their leisure time, to be a fun and rewarding place for our staff to work and to support our partners with the provision of great community facilities.

What now?

We wish to assure you that it is not the Freedom Leisure way to simply enter a new contract and change everything to ‘the way we do things’ – we understand that one size doesn’t fit all, so instead we plan to work with existing team members to continue their good work, while developing and improving where we can.

We truly believe that the local team are the centres’ biggest asset – they know the centre, the area, the local requirements and you, the customers. We will use their knowledge, blended with our experience of operating leisure centres, to ensure that all the centres are the best they can be.

Telephone numbers and website

All the centres will keep their existing phone numbers – make sure you have them in your address book and mobile contacts for easy access.

The centres will each get their own NEW page on our website: www.freedom-leisure.co.uk

These will be the place to find the centres’ timetables, news, special offers and other information and to book classes online.

We will continue with the centres’ existing Facebook pages, so if you already follow them there is no need to leave.

For the latest news and updates we suggest new customers ‘like’ and ‘follow’ these Facebook pages as well as the Freedom Leisure corporate Facebook @freedomleisure2002 and Twitter pages @freedomleisure

We will also be setting up a new area twitter page covering the four centres and area active communities programme – more details to follow about this soon.

The four centres will also have their own email address so you can get in touch:





Current members

We would like to reassure customers that current membership benefits will continue after the transfer and there will be no pricing increase upon transfer.

We will introduce our Freedom Leisure Connected Membership, which allows members of centres in the Derbyshire Dales to use any other Freedom Leisure facilities across the country – of which there are over 90.


In partnership with Derbyshire Dales District Council we have some exciting plans for all four centres with over £1.6m to be invested to make changes and improvements!

Full details will be released soon, however a few highlights include: energy saving/efficiency works across all sites, Les Mill classes at centres offering group exercise and a Talented Athlete Scheme on offer across the contract.

In addition, some site specific changes are to be made:

At Bakewell Pool we will be modernising the changing village, while also investing in new TechnoGym kit for the gym to improve the fitness offering.

At Arc Leisure Matlock we are excited to be adding a brand new 3-tier soft play activity centre for children. In addition to this we will be building a brand new group exercise studio so that members benefit from a broader timetable, set across two studios and refreshing the reception and café area to incorporate a Costa Coffee offering. We will also be installing a ‘Pool View’ computer aided drowning detection system to the existing 8-lane 25m pool.

At Ashbourne Leisure Centre we will invest in turning the existing indoor cycling area into a dedicated cycle studio, improving the sound system and virtual offering. We also plan to create a virtual exercise-class studio, refurb the reception area to include a Freedom Leisure hub and incorporate a Costa Café and shop area.

At Wirksworth we will be investing in new TechnoGym kit for the gym, completing a studio refurb and refit to include virtual classes, and enhancing climbing and training opportunities on the climbing wall by including auto belays.

In addition to the above we have committed to achieving Quest at all four sites by 2020. Quest is the UK’s leading national, quality scheme for the sport and leisure industry led by Sport England, and we are proud to operate centres with such a high quality benchmark.

Swimming with Freedom Leisure

Freedom Leisure works in partnership with Swim England to deliver the ‘Learn to Swim Pathway’ within our swim schools.

As part of our community commitments we are dedicated to helping children to start swimming and acquiring the life saving skill from an early age, while also supporting older residents to use swimming to stay active.

We have a great swim school for all ages, plus numerous swim sessions to suit everyone.

To support this commitment we plan to introduce free swimming for over 75s and under 5s with our ‘unlimited swimming’ card.

Existing hirers

Facility hirers will need to complete a new booking form when they next renew a booking; please be assured that current bookings will be unaffected. Please email the centres with your details so they can send you a Freedom Leisure booking form and ensure the continuity of your booking.

See you soon…

Well, that’s all from us for now, if you have any urgent enquiries please do drop us a line at hq@freedom-leisure.co.uk but rest assured we will keep you up to date with plans as they are progressed.