We report the development and early outcomes of an innovative intervention, directed to people at risk of type 2 diabetes, delivered by fitness trainers in leisure and community settings in Middlesbrough, UK. Men and women aged 45 to 65, living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas were assessed for risk of type 2 diabetes and recruited to the intervention. Weight, height, waist circumference and physical activity were measured at baseline and six months. A social marketing campaign attracted 217 recruits. Baseline means (standard deviation; SD) were as follows: age 53.1(5.9) years, FINDRISC-score (a questionnaire-based prospective risk score to predict development of type 2 diabetes) 13.2 (3.3), body mass index 32.9 kgm2 (6.0), physical activity level 49.2 (6.4) self-report metabolic equivalent tasks (MET)-hours/day. Follow-up was completed by 144 participants with mean (SD) reduction in weight −2.2 kg (4.3) (95% confidence interval (CI) −3.0 to −1.5) and waist circumference −5.5 cm (4.5) (95% CI −6.6 to −4.5); increase in physical activity level +5.5 (5.4) (95% CI 4.5–6.4) self report MET-hours/day and variety +1.4 (1.2) (95% CI 1.1–1.6) activity types. High retention and positive outcomes at six months are indications of initial success. The interim results of this real-world intervention are comparable to early intermediate health outcomes in the European Diabetes Prevention Study (EDIPS)-Newcastle randomised controlled trial suggesting potential for translation of lifestyle intervention into practice. Longer term follow-up and controlled evaluation are warranted.