Published:
08:00 8 October 2022



Students from an education center have built a gym and martial arts dojo in a disused vault in Great Yarmouth.

Horizon Community Training, based in Hall Quay, provides training and education for young people not in mainstream education. The company’s philosophy, according to Horizon course director and tutor Mark Shanahan, is to build relationships to improve the community.


Horizon Community Training is based in Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth.
– Credit: Google

Learners based at the center have built bookshelves, repaired game consoles and computers, and recently created a gym and dojo inside a bank vault owned by a nearby property.

“I love working with children that so many people seemed to have abandoned,” said Shanahan, 42.

“It shows that anyone can achieve things with a bit of motivation and someone giving them the space to do it.

“What the learners have done with the gymnasium is amazing.”


Mark Shanahan, 40, opens Horizon, a new community training center on Hall Quay in Great Yarmouth

Mark Shanahan, who worked for 15 years at East Coast College, founded the Horizon Community Training Center in Great Yarmouth in 2020.
– Credit: Archant

The old vault inside the former Barclay’s Bank on Hall Quay has been outfitted with mats, exercise machines and even a fight ring. The gymnasium, also known as the Horizon Fitness and Wellbeing Center, is for Horizon students and staff, as well as other community groups.

The space is also used by Next Gen Fitness and MAFC Ultimate Martial Arts.

“It’s such an important space for us,” Shanahan said.

“It gives people the opportunity to let off steam and decompress, but it also teaches students about discipline and self-defense.”


The gym inside the bank vault has exercise equipment, free weights, and a workout ring.

The gym inside the bank vault has exercise equipment, free weights, and a workout ring.
– Credit: James Weeds

The gym is still under construction, and Mr. Shanahan is keen to hear his students’ ideas on how to improve the space.

Currently, Horizon is creating a mural in the gymnasium, using the artistic talents of the students.

Mr Shanahan said the gymnasium was not intended to be a big club, but rather to build confidence to promote a greater sense of physical well-being.

“It’s a first step for people,” he said.

“And for a lot of people, that’s exactly what they need. Once the confidence is there, people can achieve whatever they want.”


Hair salon inside the building.

Horizon Community Training also has a studio for hair and beauty students.
– Credit: James Weeds

From furniture restoration and DIY to computer building and beauty training, Horizon offers workshops in a variety of fields to help students build skills for further education, study, or entering the job market. work.

“We all want to build good relationships,” Shanahan added.

“It is important to spend time with learners, to help them develop their ambition and to see them flourish.”

For more information visit www.horizoncommunitytraining.co.uk


Horizon Community Training

The furniture workshop inside Horizon Community Training.
– Credit: James Weeds


There is a garden where learners can grow fruits and vegetables.

There is a garden where learners can grow fruits and vegetables.
– Credit: James Weeds


Horizon Community Learning's rooftop garden.

Horizon Community Learning’s rooftop garden was built by the students.
– Credit: James Weeds


Horizon Community Learning recently opened an electrical workshop for its learners.

Horizon Community Learning recently opened an electrical workshop for its learners.
– Credit: James Weeds