Photo: Dover District Council

Dover District Council and operators, Places Leisure, are hailing the success of the Dover District Leisure Centre as it marks the fifth anniversary of opening.

Since it first opened to the public on 25 February 2019, over 2.5 million visits to the centre at Whitfield have played a key role in encouraging people of all ages across the district to achieve their fitness and exercise goals. 

DDC places logo (002)
  • One million dips in the pool
  • 250,000 swimming lessons
  • 900,000 visits to the gym and fitness studios
  • Anniversary weekend with activities for just £5 per person (17-19 February) 
  • 433,000 visits to dry-side facilities, from five-a-side football to Clip ‘n Climb

To mark the anniversary, operators Places Leisure are offering a range of fun activities for just £5 per person from Saturday 17 to Monday 19 February 2024, including swimming and racket sports, Clip & Climb, and the pool inflatable. 

Anniversary £5 offerSwimming & Racket SportsClip ‘n ClimbPool Inflatable
Saturday 17 February
Sunday 18 February 
Monday 19 February  

Over one million visits make swimming the most popular activity with Dover boasting Kent’s only publicly accessible 8-lane county standard short course championships swimming pool. With spectator seating for 250 people, the centre has become a major venue for competitive swimming in the county. It has also become a popular option for those starting their swim journey with 250,000 visits for swimming lessons. Both the main and learner pools are fully accessible and were the first in Kent to feature pool-pod platform lifts. 

The £25m leisure centre was designed with the latest access and environmental features and is ranked Kent’s best leisure centre for energy efficiency, carbon footprint and energy consumption. There are 250 free car parking spaces, with accessible parking close to the entrance, and electric charging points. Other accessible features include two lifts, a full changing places facility with hoist, and multiple accessible change/toilet facilities on each floor, platform lift to the two squash courts and accessible gym equipment, and audible frequency induction loop systems. 

For those looking to keep fit, the Dover District Leisure Centre has welcomed more than 900,000 visits to the gym, aerobic fitness studios, spin studio and multi-purpose studio. A further 433,469 visits have also been made to the centre’s dry-side facilities which include badminton, squash, football, basketball, volleyball, pickleball, table tennis, gymnastics, and trampolining, along with a wide range of holiday activities, children’s parties, dance, and Clip ‘n Climb. 

Kevin Mills, Leader of Dover District Council, said:

“The Dover District Leisure Centre has been an outstanding success, delivering a high-quality experience for users and attracting record visits both from people living and working in the district and further afield.”

Tony Crafer, Places Leisure General Manager at Dover District Leisure Centre, said:

“What an amazing five years it’s been! We’ve loved working in partnership with Dover District Council and are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved since opening.

“Our accessible venue offers a broad range of activities for anyone wanting to enjoy a more active lifestyle and we’re delighted to have welcomed so many of our community members through our doors across the last five years. We’re a vital part of the community, creating active and healthy people within our centre and the local area. We look forward to the next five years!”

Visiting the Dover District Leisure Centre is set to get even easier this year with the launch of Dover Fastrack, Kent’s first purpose-built zero-emission bus route which stops right outside the centre and connects Whitfield with Dover town centre.

About the Centre

The Dover District Leisure Centre was opened to the public on 25 February 2019 by Emily-Rose Evans, who was aged 11 at the time and a member of the Dover Lifeguard Club, accompanied by school PE teacher, coach and community volunteer Gloria Riley, and the Chairman of Dover District Council. 

Sir Hugh Robertson KCMG DL, the Chairman of the British Olympic Association unveiled a plaque to celebrate the official opening of the new £26m Dover District Leisure Centre on 19 March 2019.

By Ed

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