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Leisure and Culture

Countdown is on to a new era for Leisure in Torridge – Active Torridge Launch!

Active Torridge Header

The clock is ticking down to the takeover of leisure services in Torridge by the newly created independent organisation set up by Torridge District Council – “Active Torridge”. From April all facilities and services will transfer from the current contractor 1610 and a recruitment drive has already brought together an experienced and eager team to reenergise leisure provision for Torridge residents and visitors.

From Friday 1st April there will be a short period of closure for all facilities to allow for a deep clean, lick of paint, and small works to spruce up facilities for reopening, ahead of longer term regeneration plans and investment. Holsworthy and Torridge (Northam) Leisure centres will reopen on 4th April while Torrington Pool is still undergoing a boiler replacement, leak containment and external rendering, which are scheduled to be completed later in the month. Torridge Gym will be refitted with new equipment from global brand Precor and will reopen following the fit-out a few days after the pool on 7th April. The Active Torridge team have also been putting together new schedules of classes and fitness opportunities, which will also be released over the coming weeks. 1610 have already written to members to confirm that current memberships will automatically be transferred to Active Torridge from the handover date.

During the reopening phase Active Torridge will be showcasing some of the new equipment and introducing team members via video blogs and pictures as well as sharing more of their future plans. The best place to follow this progress will be on Active Torridge’s dedicated Facebook page as well as Torridge Councils website and social media.

Matthew Wright – Head of Leisure Operations at Active Torridge said:

“There’s been a lot of hard work and organising going on behind the scenes in recent weeks and months, which all herald a bright new beginning for leisure in Torridge. I’m looking forward to working with our enthusiastic team and users of our facilities, to deliver an altogether better leisure experience for everyone. While we might have wanted to have everything available from day one, we have tried to keep the necessary closures and initial rollout schedule as short as possible. This gives us just enough time to move our organisation in, and give our centres a spruce up ahead of the relaunch under the Active Torridge banner. I’m confident this will be the start of a whole new era for leisure in Torridge and one our users will enjoy experiencing.”

Judith Gentry – Non-Executive Director of Active Torridge said:

 “I, along with my fellow Directors of Active Torridge are looking forward to supporting and helping Matthew in the weeks and months ahead as we all strive to improve the customers experience.” 


Great Torrington Town & Community Hall

Situated in the heart of North Devon, in the friendly market town of Great Torrington, this A-grade 2 listed building has quickly become the social hub of the Town. The Hall is steeped in history and the recent refurbishments are a truly beautiful and unique balance of the old and new coming together in the most quintessential way. The Great Torrington Town & Community Hall has a combination of stunning and practical rooms for hire and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors to Torrington to see what we have to offer. We can accommodate most events and come up with tailor-made package to fit your needs. This is the perfect wedding venue for a ceremony only or book the whole day from the ceremony to the wedding breakfast followed by an evening celebration!  Call in or ring Helen on 07944 639739 or log on to our website here.

The Great Hall

Dimensions:49ft X 23ft 4ins

Seats: 160 approx.

Features: Sound and lighting capability, separate access

The Long Room

Dimensions:27ft X 13ft 8ins

Seats: 40 approx.

Features: Adjoining Main Hall, separate access

The Oak Room

Dimensions: 26ft X 17ft 4ins

Seats: up to 60

Features: Oak panelled, access via grand staircase

Other Facilities

•Glazed lobby for separate hire

•Fully equipped kitchen

•Office space for hire

•Free WIFI access, projector for hire


Torrington Museum

Great Torrington Museum is a popular tourist attraction, popular with locals and a key asset as the town celebrates its unique and abundant heritage. The museum hosts over 4700 artefacts, the largest number held by any North Devon museum.  The Museum has a  lot of exciting plans for the future but does need more help to bring these to fruition.

If you love Great Torrington, are proud of its heritage  and have a passion to be involved Peter and Val would love to hear from you. They can be contacted at or call them on 01805 622306.


Skate Park

With the help of donations and grant awards, the Council established a small skate park in Calf St next to the children’s play area. The facilities are well used by skaters and BMX bikers.

Also situated within the play area is a graffiti wall where artists may add their contribution.



Sports Pitches

Torridgeside Football Club have the lease of three pitches at Donnacroft with Great Torrington Rugby Club managing a Rugby Pitch.

These pitches are well used by Torridgeside Youth  and adult teams and the various Rugby teams.

Anyone wanting further information about either of these clubs, please make contact via the below information.

Torrington Rugby Club

Torridgeside Football Club

Plough Arts

The Plough Arts Centre

The independently managed Plough Arts Centre provides residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy theatre, cinema,  music, comedy, art exhibitions, a rural outreach and an outdoor performing arts programme. It has an enviable reputation for its diverse and entertaining work and is a much valued facility locally.

The Plough web site has information on its live events, its exhibitions and workshops and describes itself, very aptly as ‘the largest arts centre in the smallest town’ and we know our positive impact is felt across the region”

Check out The Plough website for more information.

tarka trail

Walking and Cycling

tarka trailGreat Torrington has superb hilltop location, giving extensive views up and down the Torridge valley.

There is a network of paths over the various parts of Torrington Common toward the town, providing many safe and enjoyable walking trails in and around the town.

Residents and visitors can walk 20 miles of footpaths, ranging from the golf course in the north; ancient wood and wild flower meadow in the west; and down to the river Torridge valley to the south of the town.

There is access from the Tarka trail for walkers. This part of the Tarka trail for cyclists is least well known but is the most peaceful and scenic stretch up to East Yarde and Meeth.

Please see the useful links below for information regarding the Tarka Trail, Torrington Commons and Cycle Hire.


The dryside activities are based at Great Torrington School – an All Weather Pitch, a Sports Hall and a Fitness Gym.

For further information – Call 01805 623085 (pool) 01805 624767 (hall)


A Gym and Fitness Centre has recently opened in Castle Street in Torrington, details of which can be found at


For links to many other Sports Groups available in the town please go to “Useful Links” under Contact Us on our website.