Dave Taylor signed up to take over Downton Leisure Centre in January 2020, before the pandemic. He said: “It was a bit of a shock to get the keys in June and walk into an empty leisure centre during lockdown!”


Dave and his team made the most of the enforced downtime. They rebuilt the gym and changing rooms, and redesigned a new layout for the leisure centre. As well as indoor tennis, basketball, pickleball, and badminton clubs, football, 5 a side, a gym, aerobics classes, table tennis, a coffee shop and sport shop there is now a sunbed, massage treatment room and dedicated spin studio. Dave has also brought a new ethos to the leisure centre to make it fun and accessible for all. He is proud of his friendly staff and wide range of members, ranging in age from 13 to 92. Dave said, “Our 92 year old member is fitter than most!”

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Meet Dave Taylor - Manager of Downton Leisure Centre

Previously, Dave owned Gymies gym in Salisbury. He has worked in the fitness industry for 26 years, owning four clubs and working at others.


Before that Dave was a farmer at Botleys Farm in Downton, before turning his gym hobby into a profession. 

Dave currently lives in Salisbury with his wife. He has four children and has four grandchildren. He lived in Downton for several years in the 1980s. He loves the “friendly small-town atmosphere” of Downton and said, “even though the leisure centre had to close our doors four times in the pandemic, we’ve had huge support for the refurb and and lots of compliments on the updates we’ve made.”


All activities can be found at downtonleisurecentre.co.uk. The newest addition to the timetable is a children's tennis coaching programme on Wednesdays for all ages from 4 - 16 between 4.30pm and 7.30pm.


To encourage new members to enjoy the refurbished facilities in 2022 Downton Leisure Centre is offering up to 20% off of its most popular memberships in the new year. Email support@downtonleisurecentre.co.uk for details.


Dave’s top tip for getting fit in the new year is to “start gradual, build up and be consistent”.


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