Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.40.38A Northumberland boxing club has been given a new lease of life thanks to a generous donation from EDF Energy Renewables.

Glendale Amateur Boxing Club, based at Glendale Middle School in Wooler, received £7,365 from the Barmoor Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund to launch a training studio for its members.

The club, which is the only one of its kind in the area, was set up at the beginning of the year by coach David Milburn and club chairman Andrew Clark, a former policeman in the local community.

The Glendale Amateur Boxing Club used the grant to renovate an empty unit donated to them by Glendale Middle School, including new internal walls and fittings, repairs to the roof, insulation and new windows.

David’s interest in boxing started through his young song, who found the sport to be a great help when his mother died seven years ago.

David said: “I enjoyed taking my son boxing so much that I ended up in coaching myself. I completed all of my qualifications and began taking more children from the area to the nearest club. There was a lot of interest in the local community, so I set up a local facility so many more people could benefit from boxing in the same way me and my son have.

“Boxing is more than a sport, it’s something which gives youngsters a sense of direction and discipline. Members are encouraged to be focussed and well behaved both inside and outside of the club, which gives them a sense of responsibility too.

“The support has been overwhelming. Without the donation from the Barmoor Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund and Glendale Middle School we wouldn’t have been able to open the studio.”

The club currently has around 100 members who attend boxing sessions and exercise classes instructed by qualified volunteers. Boxing training and tuition is available for ages 7 and upwards, and ages 11-25 can compete.

Steve Hunter, of EDF Energy Renewables, presented the donation from the community fund. He said: “The Glendale Amateur Boxing Club has made a huge impact in the local community. David, Andrew and team have worked very hard to set up a great sports club and we felt it was an extremely worthy cause.

“The club promotes health and wellbeing in the area for people of all ages, as well as something positive for people of the community to become involved in, whether it be attending classes or volunteering.”

The community benefit fund will make £60,000 available each year over the operational lifetime of the wind farm to support local community projects, events and organisations. Applications are considered by a local steering group that includes representatives of local parish councils and individuals from the area.

Barmoor Wind Farm is a six turbine site, located south west of Berwick between the villages of Ford and Lowick, and is capable of delivering over 12 megawatts (MW) of low carbon electricity, enough to meet the average annual needs of approximately 6,500 homes*.