New Abraham Darby leisure centre opens in Telford

Fitness fanatics have had their first chance to try out a new state of the art gym in Telford. The centre at the Abraham Darby Sports and Learning Community opens to the public today.

Fitness fanatics have had their first chance to try out a new state of the art gym in Telford. The leisure centre at the Abraham Darby Sports and Learning Community opens to the public today.

It followed a weekend of taster sessions for existing members of Telford & Wrekin Council’s Aspirations fitness scheme.

The new sports centre, part of a £35million development that also includes new buildings for the Abraham Darby Academy and Woodlands Primary School, has a whole life fitness suite, a 25 metre swimming pool with a moveable height floor, sports hall and an aerobics studio.

The fitness suite, which has dedicated changing rooms and showers, has 24 pieces of Cybex cardio vascular equipment with television screens, including 10 total body arc trainers and five lower body arc trainers, five pieces of Cybex resistance equipment, two power plates and 12 Precor team bikes in a dedicated spinning studio.

Councillor Arnold England, cabinet member for leisure and well-being, said: “We are very excited about the opening of the Abraham Darby Sports and Leisure Centre.”

The leisure centre replaces the Madeley Court Sports Centre, which closed before Christmas.

Telford Snowboard and Ski Centre on the Madeley Court site is still open.

The whole sports and learning community development will be completed in June when the Abraham Darby Academy moves into its new building on the site.

The move was delayed after a canopy collapsed in August.

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Comments for: "New Abraham Darby leisure centre opens in Telford"

twisting my melon

Don't suppose theres going to be any outdoor all weather pitches any time soon in South Telford, we had to stop using the one at Madeley Court in december and we've not been able to start again due to a lack of slots..

Rob, Telford

"Don’t suppose theres going to be any outdoor all weather pitches any time soon in South Telford, we had to stop using the one at Madeley Court in december and we’ve not been able to start again due to a lack of slots."

Just think how much you're saving the NHS....

twisting my melon

I'd invite you to come and have a game only we have nowhere to play anymore.

Rob, Telford

A nice thought but I think I'll the football bit and join you for the post-match drinks.....


Isn't it a sign of the times that T&WC can open a new leisure centre with less facilities than the one they've just closed down and call it progress!

Yes Madeley Court Centre was badly in need of repair - mind you an occasional clean might have helped! - but it had a swimming pool which could hold both swimming lessons and public sessions concurrently - something the new pool is obviously not able to do.

Also depressed to see that the management is unchanged.


It was cleaned every day, it didnt need to be cleaned, it was old!! Nearly 40 years old, i'd like to see you clean it!!


It does seem a shame that Madeley court couldn't have been cleaned and updated. The new pool I believe is like the one at HLC (no deep end) and is only just over half the size. we have used the Madeley leisure services for years and are dissapointed to have to change venues for swimming lessons and to have my ten year old have to swim till 10pm with e court swim club as pool time is so scarce. Mmmmmmm progress? let's wait and see. Also seems a shame that staff that have been so helpful over the years have not been able to relocate.


Yep another T&WC triumph, 2 pools shut Madeley gone forever & Wellington's just guess work.

In my lifetime we've had our concord moment and our space shuttle moment, both never to be repeated; and now or Madeley court moment, as stated above it had the ability to do two things (3 if you were clever!) at the same time gone forever.

Old Broadsheet

I'm still waiting to hear a single positive comment about the new SLC (although I'm sure someone from TWC will oblige)...

For the record I partook in the TWC public consultation (if thats what you call it - it was hardly very public). Despite easily being one of the most frequent Madeley Court customers I came across a PDF about the consultation on the internet purely by luck. I also told TWC that in my opinion the pool would not be adequate and they were making a big mistake. Strangely I got no further correspondence from them after that.

I just did some calculations and my opportunities to swim have decreased by 20% in the last 12 months - of course the council has very cleverly (?) reduced the available sessions gradually over this period, presumably so that it wouldn't be so obvious and blamed on the inadequacies of the new pool?

I would also question why as an Adult male I have less swimming time due to the "Ladies Only" sessions. Given the fact that TWC are an equal opportunities council I am puzzled about the lack of "Men Only" sesssions. I did ask TWC about this but from the deafening silence it appears that opportunities are more equal for some than others!

It was also interesting to note that members of that the Court Swim club aren't too happy either especially as I'd guessed the 25m dimensions of the pool were for their benefit?

On a more positive note the gym facilities do look excellent, but I didnt actually think they were that bad at Madeley Court? As has been said above - nothing a good clean couldn't have sorted out!

Progress.. Hmm

Wile Coyote

I've worked in Leisure for quite a long time and this is only the second time I've ever seen or heard anybody complain about the lack of a Men Only's no wonder nobody replied if that's the best you could come up with.

I notice you're not complaining about any other restricted sessions such as the 60+' rule for one...

Old Broadsheet

"If thats the best that you can come up with" .. The council is also breaking the law under the sex descrimination act - that is probably the reason they didn't reply!

I should also point out there are no Over 60's sessions - it is obviously a long time since you worked in leisure!

Wile Coyote

It is, in fairness, a long time since I worked for Telford and Wrekin. The council I currently work for still offer the over 60 sessions.

The council are not breaking any law, they are merely providing a session in which women can swim without the perceived added pressure of being oggled by men while in their swimsuits.

As I said this is only the second time in many years I have seen a request for a men only session, I'm quite sure if it became apparent to the leisure centre that there was enough call for such a session they would put one on.

In my experience, however, there is such a tiny percentage of the public that want this that it's just not worth anyones time or effort.

I rather suspect that you're just being a tad trollish...

Rodney Nosnail


I have to take Wile Coyotes statement that the women only classes are legal as fact as I am not up on the law, but I would add that it would be nice to have sessions where I could swim without the perceived added pressure of being ogled by women whilst in my tight-fitting Speedos - it always happens to me, they just don't seem able to stop staring!


Swimming is a competitive sport worldwide.Any sports complex which wants to teach youngsters, train potential world class swimmers and become a venue for major competitions MUST have a pool which is standard length.....33.3 metres.

Did TWC save money by specifying the long outdated 25 metres ? IMHO Not!!!. The additional cost to council tax payers incurred by the collapse/replacement of the Jerry-Built canopy would have more than covered the extra 8.3 metres.


Wile Coyote

33.3m? That was the standard length for pools roughly 50 years ago.

Being as competitive swimmers race in multiples of 50m surely the standard length should be just that?

However as there is very little space for anything else once a 50m pool is built I would have thought that 25m was the next sensible option.


Thanks for all who corrected me .I'm grateful that you did.

George @ Dawley

Towbar, I think you are greatly mistaken.

The internationally recognised swimming pool lengths for competition are 25m (shortcourse) and 50m (longcourse). 33.3m was used breifly in the 70's but you will find all 33.3m long pools now closed or have booms in them to create 25m long pools.

The world governing body (FINA) is holding world championships this year. The pool length is 25m.


I visited the new centre on the weekend and was very impressed with the new building. The staff were nothing but helpful, pleasant and friendly. All of whom were very informed and answered all questions about the facilities and equipment as well as future developments from myself and others touring round.

I think the new build has moved with the times, the equipment in the gym appears to be state of the art and the staff seem fully knowledgeable about all aspects of it. The swimming pool floor moves for different activities and the floors in the larger rooms are springy to make it more comfortable.

I just wanted to make my experience so far across as there seem some very disgruntled people above which was not my experience at all. I left my visit highly impressed with all the facilities and staff and look forward to many more visits.

I just wanted to put my experience across as there appear to be some very disgruntled people when my experience was far from this. I left the centre highly impressed with the facilities and staff and look forward to many more visits.

Old Broadsheet

Its good to hear a positive experience. I dont think anyone is saying that the Gym wasnt up to scratch or that the staff weren't committed TBH

I accept your comments about the pool being height adjustable (which sounds ideal - but lets see how reliable it is) its the width of the pool compared to Madeley Court that really seems to be the bone of contention. As is demomnstrated by the new timetable the pool is unable to hold anything like the number of sessions that used to be held at Madeley Court.


One person did mention staff in the previous comments and I think its unfair to make those comments. I think realistically we should all wait with patience and give the new centre a chance as a lot of people are focusing on negatives and writing it off before they have even been in most cases. Nothing will change that madeley is gone. Change is inevitable and should be embraced. I believe this pool is also 25m in length not the 20m that madeley was. I am sure they will not have to turn people away for swimming sessions.


I think its excellent, the building is modern and up to date, everyone is moaning because they are annoyingly picky and moaning is their hobby, try being positive and less ungreatful!