Trampoline club’s plans to transform empty Hull factory and create 14 new jobs

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Trampoline club’s plans to transform empty Hull factory and create 14 new jobs

A long-established trampoline and gymnastics club is hoping to bounce back after being forced out of Hull’s Airco Arena.

The Hull High Fliers was among a number of grassroots amateur sports clubs evicted from the arena three years ago when the Stadium Management Company controversially installed a synthetic grass pitch.

Since then, most of the club’s Olympic-standard equipment has been kept in storage while it has continued to search for a new home.

During that time it has also only been able to offer limited training sessions for its members at temporary venues.

Now the club is looking to create a new dedicated facility in a former factory in Hawthorn Avenue, west Hull. The empty building was previously the home of engineering firm Shipham Valves which moved to a new site in Brough last year.



Youngsters from the Hull High Fliers in action at the club's old base in the Airco Arena

Youngsters from the Hull High Fliers in action at the club’s old base in the Airco Arena

The club has recently created a charity called Launch Pad to allow it to lease the premises should it secure planning approval for a change of use.

In a design and access statement submitted on behalf of Launch Pad, project architects C.A. Barr Ltd say: “The plan for the unit at Trackside Business Park in Hawthorn Avenue is to extend and improve on our past success by creating a dedicated trampoline and gymnastics facility, giving access to much needed training and pit facilities and the opportunity to engage with a much greater number of young people and adults.

“This project is not a trampoline park.

“We are an affiliated member of the national governing body for gymnastics – British Gymnastics – and deliver high-quality structured lessons in a fully matted safe environment under fully qualified instructors.



A tumble tots session organised by the Hull High Fliers club at the Airco Arena

A tumble tots session organised by the Hull High Fliers club at the Airco Arena

“We currently have 155 members who attend sessions ranging from one hour to eight hours a week in group sizes up to a maximum of 20 attending at any one time and we offer a 16 hour a week timetable.

“We aim to increase the number of classes on offer by 50 per cent in the first year and once our equipment is out of storage we will be able to increase the number of classes with a session to increase our membership.

“We are expecting our membership to double within the first year.”

The charity says it also intends to offer qualifications and sports coaching training for unemployed young people as well as working with with ex-service personnel through the Hull 4 Heroes charity. If given the go-ahead, two full-time jobs and up to 12 part-time posts would be created to work alongside the club’s volunteer officials.



Hull High Fliers head coach Julie Williams after the club's eviction from the Airco Arena in 2015

Hull High Fliers head coach Julie Williams after the club’s eviction from the Airco Arena in 2015

The statement adds: “For gymnastics we need a large floor area and for trampolining we need a height of eight metres as a minimum, the unit on Hawthorn Avenue is the only one that we have found suitable in the three years since we lost our facilities at the Airco Arena.

“If we were unable to obtain planning consent it would result in the club having no alternative but to move into the East Riding which would leave Hull without a competitive trampoline club.”

The application is expected to be considered by the city council’s planning committee later this year.

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