PLANS are in the pipeline to develop a community hub with ambitions for it to become a centre of excellence for martial arts offer a range of facilities to residents.

The former Lowton Youth Club on Newton Road was taken over by Leigh Judo Club in a community asset transfer authorised in 2017 by Wigan Council.

Since then club members and volunteers have raised more than £35,000 to carry out repairs at the facility to bring it back into use.

Leigh Journal:

Leigh Judo club members

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For a short period of time the centre offered a community cafe, Start Well mum and baby classes, youth activities, a recording studio and events.

But due to ongoing maintenance issues only the judo club remained open.

Despite this disappointment, Leigh Judo Club chairman Luke Brown had no regrets over taking over the facility.

He said: “Without the opportunity, our club would not have been able to grow and cope with demand.

"It was testament to the dedicated hard work of our volunteers at the club that have worked tirelessly just to keep the centre up and running.

"Had we not taken it over, our community would have missed out on so many events, activities and classes.”

The club was determined to bounce back and make their base a long-term success for the community.

They devised a plan for its future and applied to the Sport England Community Asset Fund, which they received a further £35,000 from.

The club have drawn up proposals for Lowton Community Hub, which aims to be centre of excellence for martial art sports which will boast a world class martial arts dojo.

A new community cafe will be installed along with a media and recording studio and a medical clinic.

It is hoped that Start Well classes and youth activities will return to the building as well.

Leigh Journal:

A proposed layout for Lowton Community Hub

Luke added: “We’ve faced an untold number of issues.

"We’re proud of what we have accomplished so far and we can still see the need and the potential impact the facility can have on the local community."