New District Leisure Centre

The Hive Leisure Centre

The Hive District Leisure Centre

Coronavirus Service Update
The Hive closed on Friday 20th March following Government advice to. For the latest information visit The Hive website where you will find information relating to bookings, swimming lessons and memberships. Or email

The Hive, the new leisure centre for East Cambridgeshire opened to the public on Monday 14th May 2018.

The leisure centre, built by contractor Pellikaan, includes an eight-lane 25m swimming pool, a learner pool with moveable floor, a 120-station gym floor, two activity studios and a four-court sports hall. Outside there is a 3G artificial grass pitch.

The new centre is located at Downham Road, adjacent to the existing Ely Outdoor Sports Associations sports facilities and Ely Leisure Village.

The project has been funded by East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) with the help of a £1.5m Lottery grant from Sport England.

The centre opens is managed by GLL on behalf of East Cambridgeshire District Council. Please contact GLL for information about using The Hive via email or telephone 020 3457 8700.

Paradise Pool closed on 30th April 2018. No other leisure facility is planned for closure, as all of the facilities that will be provided within the new leisure centre are needed in addition to those currently provided.

Why is a new leisure centre needed?

We know the facilities currently provided are not big enough for the local community and will not cope with the demand we expect from a growing population.

The Paradise Swimming Pool, a 4 lane pool and leisure pool, is operating at 97% of total capacity in 2014, which is well above 70% comfort level. The feasibility report for the new centre indicates there is unmet demand for swimming in East Cambridgeshire that equates to 166 sq metres of water space (2.6 lane 25 metre) in 2014 and 242 sq metres of water space (4 lane 25 metre) in 2026.

The Paradise Pool building had had a number of extensions over the past 30 years. This means that it was difficult to extend it any further, and as it aged, it was becoming more and more inefficient to run.

The population has increased significantly in recent years and growth is expected to increase by 19,500 to 103,700 by 2026. This, plus the additional housing growth proposed in the Local Plan, will place extra pressure on a number of indoor sports facilities not just the swimming pools.

The Sports Consultancy have produced an Indoor Sports Facilities Needs Assessment, Strategy and Action Plan to show the current provision looking at quantity and quality with a view to what is required in the future.

A new leisure centre gives us the opportunity to build a first class district facility that is:

  • fit for current and future generations
  • modern
  • cost effective
  • provides flexible space to respond to the latest trends in exercise and sport
  • designed to be light and inviting spaces

If you have any queries regarding the new leisure centre, please contact, Infrastructure and Strategy Manager, or telephone 01353 665555.