Boxing club set to lose home in demolition plans

A plan of the centre of Bellingham with the area threatened with demolition in red
The area in red could all be demolished under the plans [Stockton Council ]

A sports club which welcomes up to 90 children a day is looking for a new home after being told its current base will be demolished.

Billingham Boxing Academy operates out of West Precinct, a site being sold to Stockton Council which wants to redevelop it.

The club's founder Adrian Worth said it was "very frustrating and concerning" not being able to tell the children where its new premises might be.

Stockton Council said it would only go ahead with the demolition once all the affected tenants in West Precinct had found alternative premises.

'More communication needed'

Members of the club have won nine national titles, including three in schools championships, in recent weeks.

Until now it has paid a nominal rent, but a new location could cost as much as £15,000 per year, Mr Worth said.

He said he would like to stay in the town centre and described the club as "buzzing".

"I get asked all the time 'are we getting a new premises' but I can’t give the kids anything concrete because we don’t know ourselves," he said.

Mr Worth said the council were saying the right things but he would appreciate "more communication".

Stockton Council said its position on supporting businesses' relocation had been explained to Mr Worth on a number of occasions, including site visits to potential alternative premises.

It said the current site was partially vacant, underused and in poor condition.

Plans to create a new residential area, with shops and other facilities will be considered in a cabinet meeting on 17 June.

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