Shropshire Star

Flashback to 2012: Boxing building looking in good shape

A large steel frame was dominating the skyline of a housing estate in Ludlow as residents were given a glimpse of what a new boxing club would look like.

Colin Richards, historic environments manager for Shropshire Council, takes a closer look at the progress of Ludlow Boxing Club

The previous building used by Ludlow Boxing Club, off Wheeler Road, was used by after the club reformed in 2007 but it became so dilapidated that a decision was taken to tear it down and build a new one.

Demolition was carried out in December 2011 and work on the new building began just under a year later.

Club officials said the appearance of the steel frame off Wheeler Road marked an exciting stage in the project to build the new club.

The new club house had been designed to provide a community room for groups and families on the Sandpits estate to use.

At the time, the boxing club catered for more than 80 people aged from 10 to 30 and of all abilities.

It had enjoyed a surge in numbers of new members and people interested in joining since the London 2012 Olympics.

Colin Richards, historic environment manager at Shropshire Council who was also project managing the build, said: “The local kids have been coming up to the gates to have a look into the building site.

“Everyone is excited because the frame makes things that bit more tangible.

“You can see the form and shape of the building to come.

“The future of club is looking very good. It has been affected by the Olympics - since then junior membership has risen from about 20 to more than 80.”

Jeremy Clowes with boxers and staff at the new club building

Club officials appealed for people with specialist skills, such as plumbers, plasterers and decorators, to get in touch before Christmas and get involved with the second phase of work which includes fitting out the building’s interior with the next phase of work expected to start in February 2013.

Flo Hadley, secretary of the boxing club, said: “The aim of the new club is to make sure our members can access good facilities.

“Things are on schedule at the moment but we would love to hear from people who will be able to offer specialist skills to help with the work on the interior of the building in the new year.”

By November 2013, thanks to the generosity of supporters, work on the £150,000 project was nearing completion.

Town council clerk Gina Wilding said: "Ludlow Boxing Club is almost completed.

"The doors and windows are now in place and work to the interior has begun. The walls have been painted and the final push has begun."

She said the club would be throwing open its doors in January 2014 to say thank you to everyone involved.

She said: "There are so many people to thank including local businesses, residents, organisations who have generously given time, materials, skills and donations to Ludlow Boxing Club."

Shropshire Council contributed £50,000 towards the project, along with £10,000 from the town's local joint committee (LJC).

South Shropshire Housing Association donated £30,000, while the town council put in £20,000. The final £50,000 was raised by private donations.

At the official opening of the new club, the town’s mayor Councillor Paul Draper said: “It’s an absolutely fantastic thing for the area and the community, and it’s not just a boxing club, it’s also a community room. Members of the boxing club have worked hard fundraising, and lots of businesses have been great supporters, donating materials and labour or financially.”

He said it was an example of what could be achieved by the town council working alongside volunteers and others such as Total Response property maintenance, South Shropshire Housing Association and Shropshire Council.

“But the project is really down to (project founders) Colin Richards and Pc Tony Sewell (chair of the club),” he said. “And former town clerk Veronica Calderbank was instrumental in getting it started too.

“It’s just a wonderful thing for the youngsters and Ludlow Amateur Boxing Club is a great organisation,” he added.

New facilities at the club included a boxing ring, unisex-disabled access changing rooms, a kitchen and adult shower facilities, as well as a community room for groups and families to use.

It was a welcome boost for members who had been using temporary premises on Ludlow Business Park and at the Rockspring Centre since its base had been pulled down.

Organisations involved in building the new facilities compiled a thank-you board, which they displayed, in the entrance to the building, to celebrate those who supported the project.

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