The future of a much loved sports club in Slough is "up in the air" after a turbulent few months which came to a head when the business owners were 'locked out of the premises.'

Blackbeard Academy MMA sought help in September when Slough Borough Council put the building up for sale as part of their asset disposal strategy.

The club located at Unit 26, Wexham Business Village, Wexham Road, previously told the Observer that they are "urgently seeking support" to preserve the "vital community resource" that is their club.

A petition was launched which amassed 1,564 signatures, calling for the council to remove the premises from the market.

"We are deeply saddened by the sudden turn of events that has put the future of the Blackbeard MMA Community Hub in jeopardy," said Nomaan Khalid at Blackbeard MMA.

"Our hub is more than just a building; it is the heart and soul of our community.

"We have consistently strived to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in Slough, and it is disheartening to see our efforts jeopardised."

However, unable to produce the funds to buy the building from the council, Slough Borough Council sold the property to an unknown party on September 21.

A month on, the petition was discussed by Slough Borough Council in their full council meeting on Thursday, November 30.

In the meeting, Nomaan gave an update, stating that following the sale the locks on the building were changed "aggressively" on November 27.

He has since clarified that this was a misunderstanding between them and the new landlord.

During the meeting he claimed nobody had sat down with the group and offered progressive moves or provided an alternative location.

A Slough Borough Council spokesperson previously said: “The sale of the freehold of the property will not affect the current tenant's occupancy or terms of the original lease.

"The property is being sold with the lease in place, so he will be able to continue his operations as they are at the moment, under a new owner."

However, Nomaan said: "On November 27 the locks were changed aggressively by the new owner and our hub is now closed.

"Our hub where we train and build healthy lifestyles, get the youth off the street, develop programmes for all and understanding that right now mental health, obesity, knife crime, violence is on the increase.

Nomaan said at the council meeting: "We still have the opportunity to do the right thing and save the community hub."

Councillors have said they will work with Blackbeard Academy to resolve the situation and/or find them a new space.

Cllr Dexter Smith, lead member of the council said: "This particular unit on the Wexham Park Business site was not designated by the council as a community hub.

"I applaud the charity's work with young people and I recognise it is a centre which attracts young people to get engaged with the community in a positive way.

"I think the proposal that we engage with the providers of that service is the best way forward under the circumstances.

"We have no way of controlling what the new owners do but they must respect the law of the land and the rights of the existing tenant. So I find it quite distressing to hear that they have come and changed the locks."

Since the meeting, Blackbeard Academy was allowed back into the premises on December 2 and classes have resumed.

Community projects have been put on hold, however.

A Slough Borough Council spokesperson said: "The building was sold at auction, with completion on November 2. 

"Anyone wanting to lease the building will need to negotiate with the new owner.

"We have previously said we will work with Blackbeard to find alternative premises if things don’t work out at their original site."