State-of-the-art £4m facility in pipeline for Islington Boxing Club
- Credit: Islington Boxing Club
Islington Boxing Club has unveiled plans to build a £4m community facility which it hopes will serve the area “for decades to come”.
The club, which started out as Kings Cross ABC in 1974, moved to its current home in Hazelville Road, Upper Holloway in 1981 in the former site offices of the Bovis Construction Company, which were in use when building the Elthorne Park estate.
Although the building was only meant to be temporary, the club – which has produced noteworthy champions like John Beckles, Masood Abdullah and Jem Campbell - remains in situ 40 years on.
The site is leased from Islington Council, which has agreed to grant a long-term 99-year lease if the project - which still needs to secure planning permission - goes ahead.
The club then hopes to raise the £3.5m to £4m required through capital grants, benefactors who have an interest in sport and boxing and traditional club fundraising.
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Doni Spiro, new build project manager and a committee member for Islington ABC (Amateur Boxing Club) said: “It has got to the stage now where we feel it is right to start the process of building a new venue, not just because the numbers we are attracting means we have outgrown the current buildings, but we also think from a health and safety and comfort point of view it’s the right thing to do.
“We believe that what we can create can serve not just people in Islington, but also further afield, and not just for boxing - for education, nutrition, sports psychology and other things as well.
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“We now have the chance of securing a long-term lease and of creating something special for the community that can be enjoyed by people for decades to come.
“It’s going to be a big ask to raise the money, but we believe it’s what the area of north west London needs and will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people.”
It is hoped that work could start within the next two years.
Mr Spiro added: “It may be a case of doing things in stages, and going through various rounds of fundraising, so that we get one part of the new building finished and then can open that up.
“It would be great if someone came along and had the money for us to go ahead all in one go, but realistically we know it is not going to be that easy and we think it will take two years to raise it."