A NEW martial arts centre that aims to improve health and wellbeing in the city has opened in the Marlands.

Mayor of Southampton Cllr Jacqui Raymen cut the ribbon at the UK Shaolin Centre's opening ceremony on Saturday.

This was followed by a kung fu show and masterclass.

Shi Yan Ming founded UK Shaolin Temple in 2013. He is a 34th generation Shaolin Warrior Monk from China who trained in the Shaolin Temple.

In 2016, the charity opened its first site in Shirley.

He told the Echo: "We had to shut down during the pandemic. We reopened for the community and now we are in the Marlands.

"This is a much better, central location for everyone."

Daily Echo: Martial arts show at the openingMartial arts show at the opening

Daily Echo: Martine Niven and Chi Yau with the plaque at the centreMartine Niven and Chi Yau with the plaque at the centre

A plaque has been dedicated to Chi Yau, director of Yau Brothers, to thank him for the support he has provided.

The Southampton family business supplies Chinese supermarkets and restaurants.

Martine Niven, operations manager for UK Shaolin, said: "Chi Yau has always supported us and been there from the very beginning.

"We had to close our premises on Pitt Road in Shirley at the start of the pandemic, and he kindly donated part of his warehouse for us so we were able to put on our online classes and store some of our equipment.

"Now we are in the Marlands, we will host many commmunity projects, events to help with health and wellbeing, and many different classes."

The new site is located next to One Below on the ground floor of the shopping centre.

Daily Echo: The new UK Shaolin Centre opened today in the MarlandsThe new UK Shaolin Centre opened today in the Marlands

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