(Thames Water's Scott Hubbard and Bill Cooney at the official opening)
A major renovation scheme at a popular boxing club in Kent based at a former pumping station has now been completed.
Delighted members of the Kings Amateur Boxing Club in Brasted have now officially moved back into their gym at the village’s former pumping station after emergency repair work was carried out on the building.
The pumping station, which is owned by Thames Water and leased out to the club for minimal rent, required urgent remedial work after a routine health and safety inspection found a number of major issues in June 2016.
The repair work meant the club had to move out of the building, and because of the complicated nature of the work, had to stay out for longer than initially thought.
Launched 15 years ago by internationally-acclaimed Brasted boxing coach Derek Rawlins, who had coached national and international members, the club is a popular hub for the local community.
It caters for dozens of members, including children from the age of nine.
Coach Bill Cooney praised Thames Water for the work it had done in restoring the building to its former glory, and said the club will now be able to continue the legacy of Mr Rawlins having reopened.
He said: “Thames has gone above and beyond for Kings Amateur Boxing Club.
“The building is looking amazing and now I am able to carry on Derek's legacy of teaching, encouraging and involving local boys and girls in a great boxing club. Thank you again Thames.”
Cathy Purse, community projects manager for Thames Water, attended the official opening ceremony and said she was delighted the work had been completed.
She said: “We found the building, an old operational building on our land, to be in a state of disrepair both internally and externally.
“The building was being used by the club at the time and we had to make the difficult decision to ask them to vacate the property so that work could be carried out.
“We’re really pleased the building is now completely renovated for the boxing club's use and they now have full access from today.”