Gloves off in gym row as Hull Fish Trades Boxing Club calls on council to allow access to equipment
A BOXING coach has hit out at Hull City Council after claiming he cannot get access to the equipment he paid for.
The Hull Fish Trades Boxing Club – one of the oldest in the city – was locked out of its premises last summer.
Goodwin Development Trust, a social enterprise, leased the building on an annual peppercorn rent from Hull City Council.
It allowed the club to use the building in Heron Street for free while also covering the building's running costs.
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However, the trust has not renewed its council lease, preferring to focus its resources on other city projects.
The club has since moved but head coach Phil Knight is angry he has not been given access to retrieve his equipment, which costs thousands of pounds.
He said: "I have had no joy with the council.
"All the equipment in there has been purchased by the club, with much of it out of my own pocket.
"I have sent a number of emails but no one has bothered to get back to me.
"There are ten punch bags, a boxing ring and gloves which all belong to me."
Mr Knight feels frustrated after saying he has done everything asked of him when told he had to pay more rent or leave.
He said: "The council wanted to charge us extortionate rates so we had no choice but to leave.
"It is up to the council what it wants to do with the building but I need that equipment for the kids in my club. The boxing ring is worth £4,000 alone.
"All I need is a few hours' access to the building to remove all the equipment.
"They seem to be ignoring my pleas, which seems childish to me."
But the council insists it is not stopping Mr Knight collecting his equipment, providing he can prove it is his.
A spokesman said: "Council officers met with Mr Knight in the middle of last year, when we advised him of the process for expressing an interest in taking on the responsibility for the building.
"We also made it clear that if he could not take responsibility for the building he could contact our property team to arrange the collection of his equipment.
"We await contact to arrange this."
Meanwhile, the Hull Fish Trades Club has now relocated to the Steve Smith Boxing Club in Madeley Street, off Hessle Road.
Mr Knight said: "My boxers have moved to Steve Smith's and they are settling in well.
"In fact, quite a few of our boxers have returned to the club.
"We may well stay here as it's working very well."
The council is seeking a new tenant for the building but whoever takes on the building would be required to pay rent and meet all running costs.