A major refurb of the city’s biggest boxing club will see a £865,000 grant from Hull City Council pay for a new roof and lift.
St Paul’s Boxing Academy in North Church Side, which has produced a string of champions including Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle in its 70-year history, will undergo a huge refit to its main gym and facilities.
And the council is funding a new roof for both the academy and adjacent Hepworth Arcade, as well as installing a lift inside the boxing club.
The works will reveal a stunning vaulted ceiling space, which is currently boarded over, inside the academy.
The council has now appointed Hull firm Geo Houlton and Sons to lead the refurbishment.
Councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, regeneration, planning, land and property, said: “The council is proud to help secure the future of a club which has been a fantastic institution in this city for decades.
“St Paul’s is a vital part of the city’s fabric, having contributed so positively to the lives of so many of the city’s young people – and not just in sport, but also in instilling strong values and helping them onto positive paths in their lives.”
The academy has undergone a huge fundraising campaign to help fund internal work to the club, including significant contributions from East Yorkshire companies John Good Group, Garness Jones and Horncastle Group PLC.
A fundraising target for the works and equipment was set at £500,000, which will pay for the complete refurbishment of the gym’s interior, including new showers and changing rooms and a new kitchen, heating and the creation of a glass-fronted viewing area for boxing officials and parents watching the sporting activities.
The St Paul’s team also wants to invest in new IT facilities to enable them to record and play back sparring sessions, helping competitors to perfect their technique.
There is still about £240,000 to raise to cover the full cost of the works, with St Paul’s appealing for other companies to get involved.
The club has secured a funding grant from Sport England and has a loan facility which will allow the refit to be completed now while further fundraising takes place.
Mike Bromby, head coach at St Paul’s Boxing Academy, said: “The funding from Hull City Council is fantastic. It is a real investment in the young people who rely on the club.
“However, there is still a lot to raise to ensure we can provide the internal facilities that we need to fully modernise the club and we’d love it if more business in the city could get involved.
“We have more than 400 members from all different backgrounds, including those from some of the poorest areas of the city. By providing a place they can come and train, learn discipline, commitment and focus, we believe we’re helping prepare them for confident and productive life.”
Donate towards the fundraising push here.