Bideford Amateur Boxing Club is celebrating after plans for a new extension were given the green light by Torridge District Council.

The council’s plans committee met this morning (Thursday) and unanimously approved the proposals for the extension of the club at Pollyfield in East-the-Water.

In an impassioned speech to fellow members, Councillor Mervyn Langmead said he ‘whole-heartedly’ supported the extension and moved to approve the plans.

“I’ve been associated with this boxing club for a long, long time,” he said.

“I was involved with the last development (an extension in 2013) that was voted on, and this is certainly needed.

Bideford Boxing Club in East-the-Water. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford Boxing Club in East-the-Water. Picture: Graham Hobbs

“They’ve got somewhere in the region of 300 members and they’ve now got Kingsley School and Bideford College involved in fitness regimes.

“A lot of children that may have problems at school go there and vent their anger, and they’ve found they’re doing better in school because of it.”

Cllr Langmead said the club had gained a fantastic reputation for itself, working in both Bideford and the surrounding Torridge area.

“They’ve got people coming down from Wales to train with them because they’ve got such a good reputation,” he continued.

“And as you know, Tommy Langford, the professional boxer, came from that boxing club, and it goes to show the attitude of everyone there.”

Speaking after the meeting, coaches Dick Kersey and Richard Grigg said they were delighted the plans had been approved, and the club was currently applying for funding for the build.

The extension will provide space for the already-overpopulated club, meaning they can move the junior ring into the new space and create more room.

Mr Grigg said: “The idea is to become more of a community club and to get the room to do that we needed the extension on the facility.

“We don’t want to be up there turning people away because there is no room.

“In the long run, the more room we have, the more people we can get in.”

The club has been at Pollyfield Centre for around 10 years. Before that it was based in Silver Street in Bideford.

The last extension to club began in 2013 and this new one will build onto that.