Active Tameside are a leisure trust that provide accessible, high-quality gyms, swimming pools, leisure attractions and community schemes across Tameside. They came to Cornerstone looking for a complete re-design of their WordPress website. This was to improve usability, provide more cohesion between their various venues, generate better brand positioning, as well as improve speed and security of the site.

This involved creating a positive and intuitive user experience through integrating numerous individual websites and third-party systems via API connections, and building a strong UX-centric design across their website. The project was built with a mobile-first approach, as the majority of Active Tameside’s users accessed the site via mobile, meaning that user journey was the most important.

This was developed in conjunction with their wider digital marketing and brand strategy.


Responding to the brief, Cornerstone developed a website that championed the customers’ needs and united the different venues under one clearly defined branded house.

We designed and developed a completely new website on a totally bespoke built framework, putting UX at the heart of the design. This involved reworking the sitemap structure, designing over 20 webpage formats, and streamlining the process of searching, booking and paying through their website via complex API integrations with back office systems. We identified three main calls-to-action from existing users’ habits and highlighted these on the website to drive enquiries and sales.


In order to unite their locations under one roof, we drew in data from Active Tameside’s various centres into the main website, uniquely introducing a way to connect the ten sites in one place. This allowed staff from all locations to use one simple system to add classes and manage members, which would automatically update various pages of the website, cutting down their administration time and hosting and web maintenance fees.

The website included intuitive flourishes such as accordions to display depth of information succinctly, filter systems, plus a careers page with a filter system and text memory.

Following an in-depth brand workshop, a branded house approach was implemented to visually unite the multiple centres and schemes that sit under the main Active Tameside brand. Replacing a once-fragmented and potentially confusing structure, this now provides a valuable consistency across all Active Tameside touch-points and contributes to improving perceptions and understanding about the trust’s full offering.


Active Tameside’s new website and refined brand has helped give them a strong and unified presence to rival competitors.

After launching Active Tameside’s new website in September 2018, Active Tameside has gained huge traction online, improving web sessions by 11% and pages per session by 29%.

Renewed efforts on social media have grown the channel’s audience and engagement, creating an invested digital community. In statistical terms, this meant increased web sessions by 51% with a 15% increase in pages visited per session (of those who visited the site via social media).

Facebook engagement has increased by 87% with a healthy 16% of these being shares, showing that Active Tameside’s content is reaching wider audiences.

Facebook reach has also risen significantly by 265% since paid adverts were introduced, with the top post reaching 4,674 people with 266 clicks.

These significant results for Active Tameside showcases how a unified brand across marketing activities can strengthen consumer perceptions and ultimately improve brand engagement.


The Active Tameside staff were thrilled with the work we carried out for them and the impact it has made on their business. Throughout the design process, they were happy and trustful of the expertise of the Cornerstone team and have since asked us to work on a significant re-branding project which launched in June 2019.

Deputy CEO and MD of Active Tameside, Lee Wood, gave us this feedback:

“Since awarding Cornerstone our website tender (April 2018), the company have built a fantastic website for us, working with our CRM provider to integrate work through API’s enabling a much better user experience.

“The website continues to go from strength to strength, but our working relationship has gone beyond becoming the initial website provider. Cornerstone have hosted Branding workshops as Active Tameside looked at changing 12 separate internal brands to a more recognisable ‘one’ brand format this work is close to a successful new launch! The working relationship between both companies is seamless and provides the foundation of productive outcomes.”

Web sessions increased by 11%

Page views increased by 44%

Pages viewed per person increased by 29%

Facebook audience grew by 38%

Facebook engagement increased by 87%

Facebook reach increased by 265%

Cornerstone DM