Irvine Judo Club are set for a big expansion that will help increase their floor space by a staggering 40 per cent after reaching agreement with North Ayrshire Council.

The club’s lease of their Parterre Hall premises was scheduled to run until January 2042.

However the council cabinet at their meeting last week agreed to extend it until 2045, to allow them to secure £142,000 in funding towards the expansion from Sportscotland. Funding rules say they have to have a secure tenure of at least 20 years.

The club were granted the original lease via a Community Asset Transfer which was approved by Cabinet in May 2016.

Their membership has increased substantially in recent years, and the group are seeking to extend the building to accommodate larger classes.

Irvine Judo Club have been one of the most successful sporting organisations in North Ayrshire in recent years with members winning a host of awards.

And they have also been very proactive in terms of inclusion, making sure everyone is involved.

Irvine Times: Irvine Judo Club

Gordon Brawley, club chairman and head coach said:  “We wanted the lease extended so we could get funding from Sportscotland. Emma Mulholland from the council has been absolutely brilliant.

“When we complete this work, we will be maxed out and we will have done everything we needed to do.

“We are going to increase the mat area by another 40 per cent and hope to start the work by May.  Our target for completion is mid-October.

“Sportscotland have given us £142,000 towards the project, which was £48,000 short of what was required. 

“We have spoken to the council about sourcing more funding and will get involved in fundraising of our own in the meantime. We also have some money of our own.

“We will have a 10×5 gym and we are building a big store area for matts that will be eight-by-four.  We have all the planning permissions in place and have applied for building warrants which will allow the work to start.” 

Council leader Marie Burns said: “I have been out there myself and seen it and the Judo Club is a real success story in terms of asset transfers.”