Monkstown Boxing Club hoping to create new community hub

Ambitious plans are being put forward by Monkstown Boxing Club aiming to create a new community hub in Newtownabbey.
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The club, currently based in the Cashel Drive area of the estate, is hoping to construct a wellbeing centre in the area.

If plans are approved by Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, ‘The Box’ facility is set to include a boxing club, state of the art fitness suite, music and

dance studio, climbing zone, classrooms and training rooms, training kitchen and social enterprise units as well as staff offices and other ancillary accommodation.

An artist's impression of the proposed facility.An artist's impression of the proposed facility.
An artist's impression of the proposed facility.

Commenting on the proposals, the club’s project manager, Paul Johnston MBE, said: “The facility will be open seven days a week including school holidays, with a mission to help young people grow to be happy, healthy, and successful adults.

"The youth space in the facility will provide children and young people with a range of activities, giving them the opportunity to try new things, meet new friends and gain support from friendly, warm and positive youth workers and volunteers.

"The new building will be constructed to the rear of the existing boxing club at the junction of Cashel Drive and Monkstown Road.

"The plan is that when ‘The Box’ opens, the existing club would be demolished.”

Detailing the planning process, Paul added: “No planning application has been submitted yet. We’re still in the pre-application phase.

"The intention is to submit a planning application to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council in early March and it’s hoped a decision will be made on the plans as soon as possible thereafter.”

Members of the club have been engaing with the community over recent weeks, providing information about the proposals as well as seeking feedback from residents.

Paul explained: “The proposals have been overwhelmingly received and feedback has been extremely positive.

"The club held two public engagement events with over 300 people responding. All levels of political representatives and former international sports stars attended the consultation events also with positive support.

"There’s definitely a lot of excitement about the project among young people and the wider community.

"We’ve asked for comments to be with us by February 17, but will continue to consider any comments received after that date.

“Also, when the planning application is submitted, people will have the opportunity to comment on it to the council.”