Five year in the running community project packs a punch

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The new premises for City of Hull Sport and Community Group finally opened after a five year, £350,000 project to transform a frozen food store into a state-of-the-art boxing club for the local community.

The new premises for City of Hull Sport and Community Group finally opened after a five year, £350,000 project to transform a frozen food store into a state-of-the-art boxing club for the local community.

The project team started work on the site, based on Orchard Park in Hull last September with Ettridge Architecture and contractor Steve Simpson Building and Plumbing Services.

Dave Ettridge, Director of Ettridge Architects said:

We have redeveloped an existing council-owned building. It had been let to Heron Foods and before that it was offices used by the council.

Part funded by Hull City Council and Sport England, work on site has included an extension to the rear of the building and we knocked through the back of the building to create a big space for the boxing gym.

The two storey building includes a gym to the back of the building and a café at the front. Upstairs on the second floor there are community facilities including meeting rooms and quite a large, flexible space for training and classroom sessions. It is also hoped that the space will be rented out for yoga sessions and similar classes due to its size and flexibility. The design of the building also includes a running track.

The building was a bit of a nightmare in the beginning and we were advised by chartered building surveyors, Delaney Marling Partnership who were able to find a number of structural issues which needed fixing.

There were brick walls built off floorboards without foundations and things like that so it really was one of those jobs where there were lots of hidden gems, a bit of a challenge, but it is such a nice community scheme, the most rewarding thing is seeing the building being used by the local community.

Mike Gibbons runs the boxing club with a group of volunteers. He said:

It has been a hard slog getting the doors open, five years is a long time and we came across many issues. It has been great working with Dave and his team who painstakingly planned and re-worked the building a number of times, enabling us to jump through some funding hoops.

Now that we are open for business, we are helping young people come in off the streets and giving them something to focus on. I am sure we will be developing national champions from right here on Orchard Park.