Martial arts academy to leave Northampton leisure complex

BST Mixed Martial Arts Academy has come to the end of its lease at Sol Central
BST Mixed Martial Arts Academy has come to the end of its lease at Sol Central

A mixed martial arts academy is set to find a new home in Northampton

BST Mixed Martial Arts Academy, which is a registered charity, is currently hosted at the Sol Central building.

But the owners have applied for permission to open new premises at the former Lotus shoe warehouse in Gambrel Road, near Duston, which has been empty since 2014.

An application that will be put before councillors says the Sol Central lease has expired and BST have not been been offered the chance to review.

Free classes the academy runs include junior Olympic wrestling, judo, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, and self defence classes for women.

Instructors also work with the prison service, and The Gateway School in Tiffield, which deals with excluded children.

The application says: "By using this [new] site, they will be able to keep the martial arts offered at a very affordable price.

"They can also add to the ever-growing classes they offer for free, and work with more charities, associations and groups due to them having more dojos."

The academy is currently run with the help of 25 people, of which half are volunteers teaching martial arts.

Eight staff are under the age of 20 and are currently on training courses to become full-time instructors.

The application says says BST MMA Academy currently lends its dojo area for free to five martial arts clubs that were going to close due to low numbers and high costs at their previous premises.

It adds: "This helps the juniors and adults who could not afford to train to continue to do their chosen martial arts."

The application will be considered early next year.