Wrestling stars of the future have been given a boost as a home was confirmed for a training school in Preston.
Town Hall bosses agreed to lease a council-owned building to Preston City Wrestling (PCW), who will set up an academy in the new premises.
Leaders now hope the St Mary’s Street academy will attract young people from across the city, determined to make their names on the international stage.
PCW owner Steven Fludder said: “Once I get it off the ground it should support itself with how many people are interested in wrestling.
“We got 4,000 for Armed Forces Day, there’s a market for it and we are hoping it’s something different.
“I was hoping to have it open a few months ago, but I’m happy to have it open after the summer.”
Steven, from Ashton, Preston, said: “You see WWE wrestlers on TV and they all start in an academy.
“Some people just have natural talents to entertain and unless you give that platform they never really discover what potential they can truly reach.
“With wrestling, there might be 20 or 30 kids in each academy so there really are so many more people who make it in wrestling than in football.
“I can create my own stars - I’m inviting people in from around the world but I shouldn’t need to if there is the talent in Preston - it makes it much more of a community and more of an attraction itself.”
The deal was decided in a behind-closed-doors meeting of Preston Council’s Cabinet and means, barring planning hurdles to change the use of the building, the Preston City Wrestling Academy will open on the street between Ribbleton Lane and New Hall Lane.
Coun Martyn Rawlinson, cabinet member for resources, said: “We are pleased we’ve done a deal on a vacant council venue with PCW which is a flourishing Preston business, and we are really pleased to work with them.
“It’s a new venture that looks really promising.
“It’s good business for the council, it’s a good deal for PCW and it’s fantastic news for wrestling fans in Preston, especially the younger ones who are dying to have a go at it themselves in a safe environment with experienced trainers.”
The meeting was held in private and Coun Rawlinson said: “It’s a commercial deal - it’s the council’s commercial property and the report contains information that concerns PCW’s finances so that’s why it was confidential, to protect both sides.”