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Boxer Ashley Theophane joins protestors fighting to save sports centre in Queen’s Park

PUBLISHED: 16:10 02 June 2015 | UPDATED: 08:47 03 June 2015

Maida Vale councillor Rita Begum with Ashley Theophane at the protest (Pic credit: Twitter@cllrritab)

Maida Vale councillor Rita Begum with Ashley Theophane at the protest (Pic credit: Twitter@cllrritab)

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A former British boxing champion flew in from Las Vegas and threw his support behind a fight to stop a sports centre from being demolished in Queen’s Park.

Ashley Theophane, who grew up in the area, took part in a protest outside the Jubilee Sports Centre in Caird Street, which is facing the wrecking ball from Westminster Council.

Mr Theophane addressed the 100 plus crowd to speak about why he wants the sports facility saved.

He said: “This gym has been here since I was a kid. I now live in Las Vegas and I box with Floyd Mayweather but wherever I am in London I always come back here.

“I don’t have to come here I could go to a private gym but this is home.”

Protestors outside the Jubilee Sports Centre in Queen's ParkProtestors outside the Jubilee Sports Centre in Queen's Park

Under the controversial plans the centre will merge with the Moberly sports centre in The Quadrant, Kilburn Lane, which is set for a £23million makeover.

The Jubilee site would then be used for new homes following a deal between Westminster Council and developers Willmott Dixon.

Julius Hogben, from Save Our Jubilee, said: “They (the council) plan to knock it down and rob us of our only community asset.

“We want to keep our Jubilee Centre. Our pool is in great condition.

A young protester and user of the Jubilee Sports CentreA young protester and user of the Jubilee Sports Centre

“We have got very little around here and they are taking it away.”

The protest was held to mark an application to be granted a Judicial review by the campaigners to halt the plans.

If campaigners are granted their requested Judicial Review, they will be

If granted the campaigners will be able to have their say about the plans in the High Court.

Young protestors outside the sports centreYoung protestors outside the sports centre

Mr Hogben said: “If we don’t get one, that doesn’t tamper our opposition at all.

Westminster rubber-stamped the plans to demolish the centre last August but the project has since been delayed giving campaigners more time to fight the plans.

Mr Hogben added: “We’re not against the proposed new Moberly sports centre so long as it doesn’t mean robbing us of our main community asset.”

The new Moberly centre will boast a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool and dedicated learner pool, an eight-court sports hall, a boxing hall, multi-use hall, health and fitness suite and exercise and dance studios.

The current Moberly Sports CentreThe current Moberly Sports Centre

A spokeswoman for Westminster Council said the redevelopment is a “long-term alternative to two underused and ageing leisure centres that are no longer fit for purpose”.

She added: “Following extensive consultation with local residents we have included high quality replacement affordable homes on the Jubilee site. Residents also told us they wanted more community facilities so we are building a smaller community sports facility on the Jubilee site.”

How the Moberly Sports Centre will look after its £23m makeoverHow the Moberly Sports Centre will look after its £23m makeover

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