They are describing it as the biggest fight of their lives.

A Huddersfield boxing club is moving to a new base in Milnsbridge, but is in “desperate need of help” to make its new home fit for purpose.

The 10,000 sq ft three-storey mill, which was full of rubble, rubbish and machinery, has been gutted ready for Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club’s new premises.

But the empty building, at Bridge Croft Mills, in Tanyard Road, is already costing the club £380 a month in business rates.

The club is in its 18th year, and is moving from its base at the Gas Club in Gasworks Street, where it has been for the last 15 years.

Various fundraising events have been held to help meet the cost of the move, including a sporting dinner featuring former world boxing champion Joe Calzaghe. Local businesses have also donated time and equipment.

Mark Reynolds of Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club (right) and volunteer coach, Gabor Voros inside the new premises for the club in Milnsbridge.
Mark Reynolds of Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club (right) and volunteer coach, Gabor Voros inside the new premises for the club in Milnsbridge.

Club founder Mark Reynolds said: “Since we signed up to the mill we are having to pay business rates of £380 per month on an empty building which is not easy when still running our existing gym.

“We have already put £20,000 into the mill ourselves and had over 1,000 voluntary hours with members giving up their time to help.

“We have had great help from local tradesmen like joiner Ricky Lee, Wayne Bailey, of Bailey’s Ceilings and local scrapyard Bamforths who have all donated precious time and equipment free of charge along with all the volunteers from the club and community giving up their time to help.”

But the work is costing more than first thought, and now new stairways are having to be put in to meet fire safety regulations.

READ MORE: Former world boxing champ Joe Calzaghe gives boost to Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club in Milnsbridge

READ MORE: RedStar to headline charity gig in aid of Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club

The complex will open seven days a week, and one floor will be dedicated to youngsters, one will have weights, crossfit rigs, martial arts and other equipment, and the third floor will be for the boxing club.

The club currently engages with 6,000 people a year and thinks another 28,000 will walk through the doors once the new club opens.

Pictured ahead of last year's Joe Calzaghe fundraiser for their new premises are boxer Gary Sykes (left) with promoter James Beattie, sponsor Alan Scholefield and Sean Reynolds of Amateur Boxing Club.

Mark said: “90% of our work is non contact boxing and we use traditional coaching to help all benefit, including young people at risk of drugs, crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We are in desperate need of help and I truly believe with support we can have a place all can be proud of.”

Anyone who can help can contact Mark on 07747 846977.