Jarrow community centre hopes new £100,000 boxing studio will be a knockout

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Plans for a new £100,000 boxing studio at a Jarrow community centre are pressing ahead.

Bilton Hall Community Centre, in Taunton Avenue, has applied for permission to build an extension at the back of the building to house the gym.

Bilton Hall Centre manager Joanne Tuck

Bilton Hall Centre manager Joanne Tuck

Bosses at the centre, which is run by the Bilton Hall Community Trust (BHCT), hope the work will mean it can be used by even more people.

Joanna Tuck, community development manager at the trust, said: “We took over as an independent community centre last April, and part of that was to get our own funding and look at how we can improve the facilities.

“We looked at areas that needed improving, and one of those was the boxing hall.

“It doesn’t function very well now and it impacts on us being able to hire out the space, and deprives access to the other part of the building when they’re in.”

Progress on the plans have been helped by a £78,000 grant from Sport England’s Community Asset Fund.

Bilton Hall Amateur Boxing Club has been based at the centre since 1985.

Formerly known as Low Simonside Community Centre, the site was earmarked for closure by South Tyneside Council in 2016.

But it was saved after being taken over by a volunteer group which formed BHCT and was officially renamed last month.

Originally built as a school for the Simonside Estate, it was converted to a community centre in the 1980s.

Comments on the application will be open until September 3.

James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service