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Outside of the box

The health and fitness benefits of boxing training are no secret. And a new partnership between Walsall Council and Alliance Leisure has brought this further to the fore with the delivery of the area’s first dedicated BOX12 studio.

The new studio, created from under-utilised office space, occupies a space on the first floor and can accommodate up to 16 participants at any one time, all working out in a circuit style format, supported by digital coaching and exercise demonstrations. Stuart Webb, group manager at Walsall Council, explains: “We were looking to create something special, something unique in the community that would inspire people to get active and stay active. Alliance Leisure has an excellent reputation and track record for developing engaging place-based activity spaces so employing their expertise was a no-brainer. We wanted to obtain maximum impact and engagement for our £300,000 budget. “When the BOX12 studio was first tabled as an idea we were a little sceptical. It sounded interesting but we were struggling to understand how it might work as a ‘box within a box’ at Oak Park Active Living Centre. Our concerns were soon put to rest when Alliance hosted visits to an existing BOX12 facility located at Newcastle Under Lyme. We fell in love with the energy, fun and uniqueness of the experience and were convinced it would ignite a spark in the community and people would want to get involved. We were also encouraged by the fact that the two BOX12 founders are also co-owners of the established Hatton Boxing brand.”

Get started “Another really attractive feature of the BOX12 concept is that it is designed to be ‘always on’. People can just turn up and get started on Round 1. The longest they will have to wait is three minutes. As a result we can run sessions all day, creating access opportunities for everyone, no matter what time they visit. “We have made access as flexible and affordable as possible by enabling people to pay for sessions on an ad hoc basis or they can have unlimited access as part of our All-inclusive membership. As a result, we have seen significant numbers of people upgrading from their Gym & Swim membership to All Inclusive so they can enjoy the BOX12 studio anytime. The beauty is also that whilst we have timetabled sessions that are instructor driven, the BOX12 studio is also self-sufficient thanks to the quality digital coaching delivered via the multi-screens.” BOX12 is a 36-minute workout consisting of 12, three-minute rounds that combine boxing and functional fitness exercises. Each exercise is separated by a three-minute rest period. The workout is fast-paced, training strength, power and cardiovascular fitness as well as balance, reaction time and flexibility. Kenny Wattam, project manager at BOX12, says: “BOX12 provides a welcoming and encouraging environment for everybody, regardless of ability or experience. People can train at their own pace and level within the parameters of the workout format. “While some of the exercises are individual, many require people to pair up, helping to nurture a supportive community that provides social and mental benefits as well as physical. Digital instruction and exercise demonstrations are provided throughout, freeing up instructors to focus more on motivational coaching and encouragement. In the case of the install at Walsall, BOX12 also integrates the Myzone platform, helping people to understand their training levels, challenging themselves whilst working within safe limits.” Works began in October 2023, transforming the office space into the vibrant BOX12 studio and completed in just 11 weeks.

Sensory experience Gareth Liversedge, delivery manager, Alliance Leisure, says: “In terms of the sensory experience we kept within the traditional BOX12 design framework, creating a stripped back industrial feel enhanced by strategically positioned lighting, wraparound graphics and high-quality equipment. When people step into the studio, they immediately feel they have arrived in a unique space, leaving any stresses and strains of everyday life at the door and enabling total focus on their workout.” BOX12 launched in 2019 so is still a relatively new kid on the fitness industry block. That said, it is experiencing exciting growth within the UK, Europe and as far afield as Saudi Arabia. Gareth adds: “BOX12 is fresh and delivers a unique experience for people living in and around Walsall. Whilst it is hoped the existing leisure centre users will embrace the new offer, we also expect BOX12 to attract a new audience, extending the centre’s positive influence on the local community.” The BOX12 project at the Oak Park Active Living Centre was delivered by Alliance Leisure through the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Leisure Ltd (DLL). Other partners on the project include Universal Construction, Savernake Property Consultants, Bignall, Shacklady and Ewing Architects and Greenwood Projects for Principal Design.


About Alliance Leisure
Alliance Leisure is the UK’s leading leisure development specialist. Working in partnership with local authorities, leisure trusts and leisure operators, Alliance Leisure is designing and developing engaging place-based active environments that cater for everyone. Over the last 25 years, Alliance Leisure has delivered more than 220 projects, ranging from multi-site regeneration projects, involving new build or significant remodelling of leisure sites, through to activating outdoor spaces, 3G pitches and leisure centre modernisations. The company has also been instrumental in working with local authorities to optimise government funding such as the Levelling Up Fund and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to ensure leisure facilities are efficient, sustainable and remain fit-for-purpose. With a clear focus on community impact and social value, a partnership with Alliance Leisure delivers excellence at every stage of a project from scoping and design through to construction and ongoing sustainability. Alliance Leisure is also delivery partner on the UK Leisure Framework, owned by Denbighshire Leisure (DLL).


About BOX12
BOX12 ‘In-Club’ is a rolling circuit that takes 36 minutes (12 x 3 min rounds), the virtual coaching screens instruct the member through a boxing and functional workout. The BOX12 Pod is one of a kind, fully loaded with functional kit. Designed to fit into a club or corporate setting. With a touch screen that takes users through a journey of preset training programmes. Ideal for those who cannot attend a class or prefer to train solo whilst receiving guidance and expert instruction. Since its launch in November 2019, BOX12 has seen unprecedented growth. Using its innovative technology-led boxing fitness solutions, BOX12 has supported operators in multiple countries. Notable customers include Fitness Time, the largest operator in the Middle East; Emaar, the prestigious developer based in Dubai; and David Lloyd Leisure across Europe. UK prominent customers include Gym Group, Village Hotels, Freedom Leisure and Hilton to name just a few. BOX12 has recently launched two sites in India, with huge opportunities for growth in the future. For more information, please contact Katie Lewis on 07912215302 or email:

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