Transforming our home to transform our impact

2015 01 24 Empire 27

Our gym is the beating heart of Empire. It’s the place where we deliver most of our boxing programmes and home to the Empire Team. We’ve created a magical place that young people feel proud to go to and feel safe, supported and cared for when they’re there. However, we have grown considerably over the past five years, reaching thousands more young people as we evolve from a local to national charity, this means our gym is no longer fit for purpose. Our ambitious plans for the future will only be achieved through significant expansion. 

The demand for our work in Bristol is at an all-time high. Our waiting list is the longest it has been in our 15-year history. Years of austerity, cuts to youth services, COVID-19 and the cost-of-living crisis have combined to create a perfect storm that has intensified the disadvantages faced by young people. A similar story is being told by our partners in towns and cities up and down the country.

Our Expansion Plans

We feel compelled to respond to the crisis. The expansion of The Empire Gym is central to our goal of elevating our impact on young people’s lives. By expanding and improving our home we can achieve three organisational priorities that will take Empire’s impact to a whole new level. We will:

  • Create a global centre of excellence at The Mill in which are programmes are operating at optimal scale and to the highest possible standard.
  • Take on greater responsibility for improving our local community by sharing The Mill with local organisations and a new Office of Violence Prevention for inner city Bristol.
  • Grow a movement of individuals and organisations delivering our work in their communities across the UK through using The Mill to showcase what we do and as a training centre.

The expansion includes a two-story extension to our building and a new 500m2 multi-purpose sports hall on the site of our outdoor basketball court. The development will provide us with two more dedicated spaces to deliver our boxing programmes, much needed office space, space to share with local organisations and flexible spaces for delivery, training and meetings.

Our capital project will significantly increase our impact on young people’s lives. Within two years of the development, we will have:

  • Increased the number of young people that we work with in Bristol from 3,500 to 5,000.
  • Strengthened the quality of our work.
  • Increased the number of young people that we reach through our partners from 6,000 to 15,000.
  • Created a community hub offering services and activities to young people and their families.
  • Develop a happier, more productive team to achieve these outcomes and our wider mission

Getting Involved

The total cost of the project is approximately £1.8m. We have secured £1.1m and require a further £0.7m to fund the project. We are working with our supporters up and down the country to help us achieve this vision. If you or your company would like to find out how you could get involved please contact [email protected]

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