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Islington Boxing Club guarantees future in Hazellville Road with 99-year lease

PUBLISHED: 12:59 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 17 January 2018

Islington Boxing Club members pictured in 2013. The club has secured its long-term future in Hazellville Road with a 99-year lease. Picture: Dieter Perry

Islington Boxing Club members pictured in 2013. The club has secured its long-term future in Hazellville Road with a 99-year lease. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Islington Boxing Club’s future in the borough is guaranteed after it agreed a long-term lease with the council.

Islington Boxing Club's iconic red building was originally portacabins for developer Bovis when the Elthorne Estate was built in the 1970s. The structure was only meant to be temporary, but the club inhabited it in 1981 and has been there ever since. Picture: Ben Sutherland/Flickr/CC BY 2.0Islington Boxing Club's iconic red building was originally portacabins for developer Bovis when the Elthorne Estate was built in the 1970s. The structure was only meant to be temporary, but the club inhabited it in 1981 and has been there ever since. Picture: Ben Sutherland/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The deal will allow the club to build a new venue at its current site in Hazellville Road, Hornsey Rise.

It means the iconic old red building will be knocked down. But committee members said the building – which was only meant to be temporary office space when the Elthorne Estate was built in the 1970s – is starting to show its age.

“As much as we love it,” club media officer Reggie Hagland told the Gazette, “we need bigger and better premises.”

Last night, the club announced a 25-year lease with Islington Council for the site, which it has occupied since 1981.

Once funding has been secured for the redevelopment, this will automatically extend into a 99-year lease.

Dony Spiro, head of development at the club, had been working with chairman Lenny Hagland for four years to secure the deal.

He said this morning: “We are looking to do something quite spectacular. We want a new sports arena so north London has a bespoke boxing and martial arts venue.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the agreement. The negotiations have taken a lot of time, money and effort. It was never going to be straightforward.”

Islington Boxing Club members pictured in 2013. The club has secured its long-term future in Hazellville Road with a 99-year lease. Picture: Dieter PerryIslington Boxing Club members pictured in 2013. The club has secured its long-term future in Hazellville Road with a 99-year lease. Picture: Dieter Perry

The club’s first choice plans would cost £7.5million, although it does have cheaper contingencies if that plans doesn’t come off.

But Dony added: “We’re going for the best.

“The tradition of the boxing club, and its atmosphere, will be the same. The venue will be state-of-the-art, but the ethos and traditions of the club have to be maintained.

“We have at least 1,000 members, and the largest female membership in the UK, because this club lives by the rules of boxing tradition.

“We work with people from age five to 60. We work with schools and the probation service. This deal means all that continues.”

Reggie, Lenny’s son, added: “It’s like Arsenal moving from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. We want to have more success than Arsenal, but you get my drift!

“We want to become the best boxing club in the UK.”

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