A Preston martial arts firm has unveiled plans to establish a new city base that will “secure its future”.
Plans have been submitted to the town hall for Nippon UK Education to establish a Dojo on the Fylde Road Industrial Estate.
The company, whose staff train hundreds of youngsters and adults each week, has been without a home since leaving its Watery Lane location last year.
It has been temporarily operating from Preston College.
According to documents submitted to council planning officers, the industrial estate unit tabled for conversion has previously been used by the NHS but its lease will not be continued beyond September.
Documents from the martial arts firm read: “The premises will secure the long term future of the Preston Dojo, which is a well-respected, socially inclusive community facility in the city, serving many of its residents. Indeed it is considered to be a community facility which the city cannot afford to lose.”
The bid is now under consideration by the city council and could require the approval of the planning committee later in the year.
Founded in 1993, Nippon is said to be “one of the largest family martial arts organisers in the UK” that runs private lessons, staff coaching and holiday clubs in addition to regular training.
Its former site at Watery Lane was demolished as part of plans to create a luxury car showroom.
The report adds: “Nippon has a long-standing presence and commitment to providing a Dojo within Preston, and, has many sectors of the community reliant on the services offered. The future of the Dojo is however uncertain until such a time as permanent, suitable accommodation is secured.”
Nippon operates 10 other Dojos in Lancashire including units in Southport , Chorley, Lytham, Goosnargh and Chipping.
The firm says it would remove a number of internal walls within the industrial estate unit to create a large floor space.
Nippon’s supporting statement reads: “The proposed use would make efficient and effective use of the premises, and the requirements of the use would make the premises ideally suited for the function proposed. The use would be most intensively used during the early evening on
weekdays and on Saturday mornings i.e. not unsociable hours.”