MEASURES to combat terrorism could spell the end for a boxing club supported by world champion Anthony Joshua that has helped keep hundreds of youngsters off Taunton's streets.

Taunton Amateur Boxing Club (TABC), which is so popular that it could become a victim of its own success, is looking to move from its home at Taunton Fire Station.

Somerset County Gazette:

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, which introduced heightened security measures at all its buildings following last year's terror attacks, is supporting the club, although it says "requirements" for the station have changed.

Mark Glanville, a coach at TABC, which has been running for 20 years, said: "The fire brigade has been awesome allowing us to use the gym for more than ten years.

"But we've been told we're potentially a security risk. Because of the recent terrorist attacks, they don't really want random people going in and out.

"They aren't throwing us out, but it's potentially going to happen. We need to find new premises.

"We've also outgrown the premises because the club is so popular - more than 60 people attend on a weekly basis. We're getting a lot bigger."

The club, which also caters for adults and has four volunteer coaches, offers training sessions every day and enters members in contests around the country.

"We want to set up our own place where people can come and go when they want," said Mr Glanville.

"The club could potentially close down if we can't find new digs or our own facilities near Taunton town centre - there must be somewhere because there are lots of empty buildings around.

"If we close, the youngsters will have nowhere to go and could drift into anti-social behaviour. I see so many 14-year-olds doing drugs and kids come to our gym to get away from that.

"They're looking for an alternative. If we don't supply that, they're going to go down that road."

Anthony Joshua has pledged to help the club following the tragic death of a teenage club member in November.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "We've been very pleased to have hosted the boxing club at Taunton Fire Station for more than 10 years, however our circumstances have now changed in terms of our requirements for the building.

"We'd like to continue to support the club in finding other premises and there's no suggestion they'll be asked to leave without having somewhere else to go.

"If anyone can offer assistance to the club I’m sure they or ourselves would be pleased to hear from them."