Our news & blog

Read the latest from Abbeycroft Leisure

couple walking in country

Time to Talk

healthy food

Exercise v Diet

Lylee and Nellie


harry wakefield

Harry Wakefield

Vera, Make your move

Vera, aged 89

Pip Moore

Phillip Moore

Stephen Wilkinson

Stephen Wilkinson

Lisa Dalton

Lisa Dalton

Lisa Dalton, Make Your Move

Tereza Fairbairn

Leisure Centre throws opens its doors after £2.4M refurbishment

The new-look Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury has officially opened its doors following a £2.4m extension and refurbishment – providing leisure facilities for the town for years to come. The new facilities are part of a multi-million-pound investment by Babergh District Council, with its leisure partner Abbeycroft Leisure, to modernise leisure provision in the town.

Work gets underway on £1.97m Brandon Leisure Centre upgrade

Brandon Leisure Centre has opened its doors to welcome back customers to keep fit and well, while contractors discreetly begin work on a major upgrade. The 44-week project to bring community health services alongside improved fitness facilities will be completed in three phases designed to keep any disruption to the absolute minimum, allowing users to get back into routines and enjoy using the facilities after lockdown.

Free, secure, cycle parking in Bury during December

If you're Christmas shopping in Bury St Edmunds, why not consider cycling in and parking for free?

Deborah Polley

Deb is one of our 'Inspire Me' Ambassadors and we caught up with her in February 2020, to hear how exercise has been her saviour at times. Deb has always been fairly active, riding racehorses most of her life, but she’d never been to a gym before, the thought terrified her actually. About 10 years ago, a colleague of hers had been to a spin class at Abbeycroft’s Newmarket Leisure Centre, and Deb thought that sounded quite fun, so she tried it, liked it and started to realise how much else there was going on at the centre...so she joined.

Lauren Brumpton

Lauren is one of our 2020 Inspire Me Ambassadors and we caught up with her in February to hear about what motivates her to be active. When Lauren was at school she was a dancer, in particular, she loved ballet, but as is often the case, she left school and became inactive for 7 or 8 years. She went off to university in London to study film and drama and admits that she didn’t really look after herself that well.

Be kind to yourself

Most of us have found this year challenging in many ways, and our mental and physical wellbeing has been under the spotlight like never before. Do not underestimate the cognitive and emotional load...

The vital work of social enterprise has never been so important

Today (Thursday 19 November) is #Social Enterprise Day, a day to celebrate and raise the profile of social enterprise around the world. But many social enterprises are facing extreme operational and financial challenges, due to the economic and social restrictions currently in place, jeopardising the vital work they do, which is now more important than ever.

Avoid the temptation to hibernate

Many of us find it difficult to stay motivated to exercise in the autumn/winter months, so don't feel guilty about feeling that way - just try and make the change. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stay indoors or stop moving. Exercising in the winter has some surprising benefits:

Your membership makes a difference to families in hardship

We are one of the largest independent leisure trusts in the UK, and we're also a not-for-profit, social enterprise. Put simply, this means we reinvest any financial surplus we make back into the business so that we can deliver events and community programmes, such as Explore Outdoor.
Holbrook Sports Centre

Holbrook Sports Centre closes

Abbeycroft Leisure has been a proud partner of Holbrook Academy since September 2016 and enjoyed working with them to manage their fitness centre, sports hall and pitches. It is therefore with great sadness that we announce that Holbrook Sports Centre will not reopen to the general public, but will still be used by the school.  

New soft play opens as part of £1.8m leisure centre transformation

The first soft play centre in Newmarket has opened at the Leisure Centre following the £1.8m transformation which also includes a new café, gym spaces, studios and treatment rooms. The investment by West Suffolk Council, which was completed on time and on budget, has been opening in a safe and controlled way since lockdown ended. A new e-gym is due to be added shortly and a children's party area when restrictions allow.
Fitness ball, mat and dumbell

Keep on track with your fitness until our centres reopen

Maintaining fitness, motivation and general wellbeing during lockdown can be tricky when you don’t have access to your usual facilities and equipment or the friends you would usually train with.
Modern gym interior with equipment. Fitness club with row of training exercise bikes. Healthy lifestyle concept

When the announcement comes – we will be ready

As promised in my previous post, I would like to update you on what and how we are preparing the centres for re-opening. You will probably have heard, that gyms and leisure centres are in 'Phase 3' of the government's roadmap for reopening, and this is still likely to be July. It's also highly likely that we will phase the reopening of our facilities and we will provide further information on this, as the dates are confirmed.

Eat the Rainbow

Nature’s colours give strong clues about the nutrient content of foods which we should not ignore. For instance; beetroots are rich in betacyanins and iron which gives them their deep red colour and provides the essential ingredients for optimum health. Iron is essential to the production of red blood cells that carry vital oxygen to all parts of the body and betacyanins have a whole host of amazing health benefits.

A message from Warren, our CEO

I hope that you and your family are keeping well at this time and have been staying active where possible. In light of the government guidance and recent statements, I wanted to write to let you know how we are preparing for the future beyond lockdown and also take a little time to explain what our teams have been doing during this period. I'll update you over the next few weeks as and when government announcements are made.

Water – what are the facts?

So we all should know by now that drinking enough water to maintain a healthy lifestyle is ESSENTIAL! But do we actually know why...let's look at the facts! Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take. Read more...

Resilience and the bounce-back factor

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us have quite quickly moved into a new ‘normal’, going about our everyday lives in very different ways, and finding new meaning in the challenges we are having to adapt to.

The importance of routine during lockdown

Being isolated during lockdown has brought challenges to almost every household, and many people saying that their normal daily routine has been completely disrupted. Not having a daily routine in any circumstances, can lead to anxiety and mental health conditions and research has shown that many people have found that doing exercise within their daily lockdown routine has helped them plan their day better.

The benefits of meditation

For many people, the spread of COVID-19 is causing a lot of anxiety and stress. In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, governments around the world have taken drastic measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19, with social distancing measures. The gears of the food and drink industry have ground to a halt and the daily routine of thousands has been upended with work from home scenarios.

The importance of sleep

Sleep is critical to our physical health and effective functioning of the immune system. It’s also a key promoter of emotional wellbeing and mental health, helping to tackle stress, depression, and anxiety.

Strengthening and Protecting your Immune System

Blog by: Debbie Greenslade of Bury Homeopaths How to look after yourself and family using Nutrition, Herbal medicine and Homeopathy: ‘’Dr Downing and other physicians from the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine urged preventive supplementation to ‘prevent or minimize symptoms for viral infection,’ including the coronavirus.

How to get through Easter whilst isolating at home

Easter is a great time of year! Normally families love nothing more than a celebration and plenty of food, drink and chocolate. However, this year will be different, with most of us in isolation and observing the government's social distancing guidelines due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We must stay at home to save lives, but this doesn’t mean a weekend of boredom and staying inside.

Top tips to resist snack cravings

During difficult and stressful times, it is quite normal to reach for foods that we love rather than a healthier choice. It is known that being under stress may induce cravings, eating and weight gain. And being at home & out of normal routine, visits to the kitchen are more frequent which inevitably leads to the urge to snack.

3 great reasons to get outside

It’s a simple fact that we all feel happier, healthier and far more positive when spring is in the air, despite the current social distancing mesaures. A little sunshine and warmth does us all the world of good.

All Abbeycroft centres set to close

We are disappointed to say that following the government’s latest recommendations, and in partnership with Babergh District Council and West Suffolk Council, who own some of the leisure centre buildings we operate, we have taken the decision to close the following centres by 16:00 on Friday 20 March, until further notice.

Babergh leisure centres set to close

Important update - Babergh leisure centres are closing - and members can freeze their memberships. We are disappointed to say that following the government’s latest recommendations, and in partnership with Babergh District Council, who own some of the leisure centre buildings we operate, we have taken the decision to close the following centres by 16:00 on Friday 20 March, until further notice.

Next steps for Hadleigh’s new pool

Work to build a new swimming pool at Hadleigh Pool and Leisure will enter its next construction phase this Spring. Babergh District Council working with its partner Abbeycroft Leisure is investing £2.4m with £200,000 of funds provided by Hadleigh Town Council and a Sports England grant (£150k), to build a new swimming pool at Hadleigh Pool and Leisure.

Suffolk to host final stage of The Women’s Tour in 2020

The world’s top cyclists will return to Suffolk this June as the county hosts the final stage of The Women’s Tour on Saturday 13 June. It will be the first time that Suffolk has hosted the final stage of The Women’s Tour since 2014, with riders tackling a route from Haverhill to Felixstowe.


People across west Suffolk are being urged to have their pulses checked for signs of a heart condition that has been described as a “ticking time bomb”. Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate and is one of the major causes of severe stroke, particularly among the over-65s.

Bury Goes Biking – another great success

Despite the great British weather starting off rather wet and drizzly on Sunday (29th September), the sunshine eventually came through to help make the second closed road cycling event in Bury St Edmunds a success. There were almost 600 people who signed up for this years event, an increase of 20% on last year.

2019 West Suffolk Sports Awards – sponsors revealed

Bury St Edmunds based Brewing and pub company Greene King, headline sponsor of this year’s West Suffolk Sports Awards, will be joined by other leading, local companies and organisations who will sponsor individual award categories at the awards ceremony on 15th October.

The sun is shining so stock up on vitamin D

With recent reports stating that we’re not getting our full annual quota of vitamin D, now’s the time to make the most of those long, lazy and hazy summer days. At Abbeycroft Leisure, we don’t need an excuse to be outdoors and exercising!

2019 Women on Wheels in Bury St Edmunds – another great success

Around 170 women took part in the sixth ‘Women on Wheels’ (WoW) cycle ride in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday 7th July, starting from Nowton Park. The all-female WoW cycle ride, has become a popular summer fixture in Bury, inspiring women and girls of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes, and complete either the 10, 25, 50 or 70 mile route.

Abbeycroft becomes UK’s first leisure trust to be accredited with Poolmark

Abbeycroft Leisure has been accredited with a nationally recognised standard for pool water treatment and quality at three of their swimming pools, by the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG), and they are the very first UK charitable leisure trust to do so.

Registration opens for ‘Bury Goes Biking’ spectacular

Bury St Edmunds town centre will once again become a traffic-free, closed road cycle route on Sunday 29 September between 10am - 2pm.

Oily fish is the perfect add to your diet

For many of us, eating a regular, healthy and nutritious diet is something of a challenge. Life’s daily stresses and pressures mean that cooking homemade meals isn’t always possible, and as a result we reach for convenience foods, fast foods and ready meals.

Fundraising from Sudbury Memory Walk benefits two local community groups

The financial fundraising from this year's Sudbury Memory Walk, was equally divided between Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance (HDAA) and The Bridge Project’s - Decaf. Each group will receive £1055.15 for much needed funds to keep their various programmes running.

Sudbury welcomes all-female cycle ride

Around 100 women and girls took part in the fifth ‘Women on Wheels’ (WoW) cycle ride in Sudbury on Sunday 21st July, starting from Acton Village Hall. The all-female WoW cycle ride, has become a popular fixture in Sudbury, inspiring women and girls of all ages and abilities...

New collaborative working agreements will benefit the health and wellbeing of Suffolk communities

Abbeycroft Leisure has signed two 5-year collaborative working agreements with Suffolk Mind and Allied Health Professionals Suffolk, with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Suffolk. The aim of each agreement is to ensure that wherever there is an opportunity to provide joined up solutions that involve improving the mental and physical health of Suffolk residents through initiatives that involve physical activity we work together and not in competition.

Dementia Friendly Community Group in Hadleigh wins national award

Abbeycroft Leisure’s 'Together Tuesday’ scooped the prestigious 'Healthy Communities Award' at the recent UK Active Sports Awards in Manchester.

Brandon Leisure Centre awarded county-wide Exercise Referral Quality Standard

Abbeycroft Leisure’s Brandon Leisure Centre has become the second site in Suffolk to be awarded the new county-wide exercise referral quality standard for their work with patients with long term conditions referred to them by local GPs and health professionals.

The key to strengthening your glutes for summer

There’s never been a better time to start working towards getting those perfectly toned glutes. Now that summer is here, the idea of outdoor running and cycling is much more appealing – so it’s essential to strengthen the right muscle groups to keep you going for longer and smash those PBs!

Nominations open for 2019 West Suffolk Sports Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Greene King West Suffolk Sports Awards, which will be held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Tuesday 15th October.

The best free weight exercises for maximum effect

With Spring well underway and the days getting warmer, Summer is only around the corner. It’s time to start toning your muscles in preparation for getting arms, legs and possibly even those midriffs on show.

Sudbury Memory Walk launches with a new date

Following the success of last year’s Sudbury Memory Walk where 168 walkers of all ages stepped out in memory of all those families living with or having lost someone with dementia, Abbeycroft Leisure, have announced this year’s date as Saturday 25th May.

The health benefits of eating yoghurt

If you’re partial to a spoonful of yoghurt on your breakfast cereal, or perhaps as a tasty treat after lunch or dinner, then you’ll be pleased to hear that it could be doing your body a whole lot of good.

Women on Wheels Sudbury returns in July

Women on Wheels (WoW) Sudbury is calling all women and girls to get on their bikes again for this year’s female mass participation ride on Sunday 21st July. Starting from Acton Village Hall, the event is open to women and girls aged eight and over of all abilities with a choice of completing the 20 or 50 mile route...

How to make pancakes healthy

Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner. Also known as Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday is the last feasting day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. So with 5th March 2019 fast approaching, now is the time to start thinking about healthy pancake options.

Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre awarded first Exercise Referral quality mark

Abbeycroft Leisure's Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre has become the first facility in Suffolk to be awarded a new county-wide quality standard for their Exercise Referral Scheme, called Active Living. 

You’ll be surprised how much exercise will help keep you fit and healthy

Exercise makes us feel happier and healthier. It’s a fact and it’s backed by science too. Furthermore, enjoying a regular exercise schedule makes us more capable of coping with stress, tension, anxiety and pressure.

It’s crucial you work out at the right time of day for your body

The time of day you work out is almost as important as the exercise routine that you follow. Many people work out at the wrong time of day for their body, and then wonder why they’re not seeing results, they’re putting on weight, or they’re struggling to sleep soundly.

Registrations open for Women on Wheels 2019

Hot on the wheels of last week’s announcement of the Suffolk stage of the Women’s Tour, the hugely popular Women on Wheels (WoW) event is back for a sixth year in Bury St. Edmunds and registrations are now open.

Newmarket Leisure Centre wins national recognition

The Suffolk facility beat off strong opposition to be crowned Local Authority/ Leisure Trust Gym of the Year at the National Fitness Awards 2018. The awards, organised by Script Events and leading industry publication Workout, with support from headline sponsor ServiceSport, recognise excellence, innovation and achievement in all corners of the industry.