DIY SOS to build new boxing gym for Grenfell community


Nick Knowles talks with Mick Delaney,.
Victoria Jones


Presenter Nick Knowles called the project “the biggest and morally most important” the team had done in a long time

A boxing gym once housed at the foot of Grenfell Tower is to be given a new home in an episode of DIY SOS.

The BBC’s flagship construction show called the project one of its “morally most important projects” to date.

The new site will be used by the Dale Youth Boxing Academy, which was destroyed in the fire that killed 71 people in June 2017.

A separate community hub will also be built on the site under the Westway – just metres from the derelict tower.

Presenter Nick Knowles said: “It is the biggest and morally most important project we have done in a long time.”

The gym has turned out stars including WBA super middleweight champion George Groves and Olympic gold medallist James DeGale.

The academy currently trains at a makeshift facility in a nearby car park.



Boxers had been using Dale Youth Boxing Academy just a few hours before the fire took hold in Grenfell Tower

Some boxing equipment was salvaged from the fire-ravaged building but has not been used, long-time trainer Mick Delaney, 73, said.

The prospect of a new space for the community to meet was welcomed by Natasha Gordon, 30, who lived at the foot of the tower.

“It will make a difference, bring some form of peace round here,” she said.

Victoria Jones


The team will build on a long-disused site managed by the Westway Trust

The announcement follows a six-month consultation with local residents.

Mr Knowles said: “The general opinion is ‘why aren’t things happening?’

“It became apparent that it wasn’t just the people who were in the building that had been affected, this is a community that has been affected and they wanted something that would be for the community.”

The programme plans to have parts of the project “built inside a year”.