Plans for new boxing facility pack a punch! / by AMRIT NARU

One of the region’s top boxing clubs has unveiled ambitious plans for a knock-out new purpose-built facility in the centre of Redcar.

With help from Naru and Ross Architects, Redcar Amateur Boxing Club has submitted plans to the local authority for a new-build timber frame structure to replace the club’s outdated facilities within Coatham Memorial Hall in Redcar.

Architectural impression of the new facility

Architectural impression of the new facility

If approved, the new scheme will see the existing rooms demolished and replaced with a new two-storey building. The new design will incorporate: two boxing rings and a spectator gallery, plus areas for punch bag, skipping, weight training, gym and shadow boxing work. There will also be new changing room and toilet facilities to the ground and first floor.

For continuity, some existing bricks and architectural lintels from the old facade will be re-used and incorporated into the hard landscape of the new design.

The popular club, which was set up by former boxer Frankie Wales in 1998 to get young people off the streets and steer them away from drugs and crime, now has over 280 members, including male and female boxers of all ages and abilities. In addition to working with youngsters, the club also supports the unemployed, new business start-ups and the wider community through various motivational projects.

As well as proving popular with local people, Redcar Amateur Boxing Club has won numerous regional awards and attracted interest from MPs and The Prince of Wales.

Our boxing club started out in an empty space above a saleroom in Redcar. When the building closed, we spent six months having to train on the beach and surrounding area. After that we moved to Coatham Memorial Hall, which was very rundown and had been mothballed at the time, but we asked to rent it.

It took a lot of hard work and favours to make the hall watertight and useable. The building has certainly served its purpose over the years. As well as boxing, it is a hub for all sorts of community groups and activities. However, as the boxing element has grown, our requirements have changed. We desperately need a purpose-built home of our own. If approved, the new building will benefit even more people from the local community.
— Frankie Wales, founder and chairman, Redcar Amateur Boxing Club
We are delighted to be involved in this exciting community project which will give Redcar Amateur Boxing Club its own permanent base. As well as providing a state of the art boxing facility, the building will continue to support the local area. Coupled with Frankie’s drive and enthusiasm, the new base will facilitate all sorts of boxing events as well as encouraging local people to get involved and fulfill their potential.
— Carl Ross, director, Naru and Ross Architects

Now that the application has been officially lodged with the local authority, it is hoped that a favourable decision will be reached by the autumn of this year. If so, work will start on site before the end of 2017, with the build expected to be completed within 12 months. A fundraising drive, plus grants, will help pay for the new facility.