A Taekwondo school is aspiring to coach ‘Olympic athletes’ after being granted permission to convert an old cotton weaving mill house into a martial arts studio.

Lauren Stott applied to Pendle Borough Council for permission to change Unit 11 at Sough Bridge Mill in Colne Road, Earby, from a general industrial storage unit into an indoor fitness and sports premises.

Working for TSX Martial Arts, the school is currently tutoring at a temporary site at Barnoldswick Civic Hall on Station Road.

The council has approved the plans submitted, meaning  the school will soon be able to teach at a permanent site at South Bridge Mill on Colne Road, Earby

The site will teach martial arts, self-defence and general fitness to the community, with a provision for grading and examinations.

A document supporting the planning application states: “It will provide a safe environment in which these groups can improve their levels of health and fitness with a focus on the core tenets of the martial arts; courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.

“The building of these life skills alongside improved fitness, particularly among the younger generations, improves confidence and wellbeing, increases healthy life expectancy and improves education outcomes by fostering disciplined children with strong attention skills.

“The proposers currently provide Taekwondo lessons from a temporary venue in Barnoldswick, and have done so for many years.

“This has produced a number of black belts, some of whom have competed at a national level.

“This, along with the continued success of the club which attracts members from surrounding villages, demonstrates that there is a strong local appetite for a centre of this nature.

“A more permanent venue could provide a more professional facility furnished with better equipment to help members achieve their aspirations and full potential, whether that’s county, national or Olympic level.”

The fitness centre will be open between the hours of 4.30pm and 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am until 12pm on Saturdays, offering classes for infants, beginners and advanced students, with three classes running per evening during the week.

Some comments were made about concerns of parking, however, amended plans were provided and the council gave full approval to the plans.