State-of-the-art climbing wall will help leisure centre reach new heights

An impression of the proposed climbing wall design planned for Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft

An impression of the proposed climbing wall design planned for Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Waveney District Council - Credit: Archant

Work to create a new climbing wall at a Lowestoft leisure centre is set to start in the New Year.

More than £90,000 is to be spent on replacing and upgrading the wall at Waterlane Leisure Centre, which was closed due to health and safety fears after an inspection earlier this year.

The new state-of-the-art climbing wall will offer modern facilities and aims to establish the town as an indoor climbing destination.

As reported last month, Waveney District Council's cabinet agreed to invest the funds for the new climbing facility in a move that could save the authority £18,083 per year in lost income.

And next month climbing wall design and installation company Rockworks Ltd will begin work on the enlarged wall at the centre, which is managed by Waveney's leisure partners Sentinel Leisure Trust.

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It is hoped that the new wall, which will have 19 climbing lines and eight 'auto-belay' devices, will be completed in time for Easter.

The new facility will be twice the size of the old wall, providing novice and experienced climbers with modern facilities, as well as catering for club sessions and parties. The nine metre high wall will also be available for corporate hire opportunities, teambuilding events and as part of Sentinel's 'Energised' Saturday and holiday clubs. A dedicated viewing area will also be created.

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Graham Catchpole, Waveney's cabinet member for operational partnerships, said: 'We are really pleased to be investing in this exciting project. Indoor climbing is the UK's fastest growing sport and currently climbers have to travel to Norwich or Stowmarket to use similar high-quality facilities.

'The new wall will attract climbers from across Suffolk and we hope it will also encourage non-climbers to try the sport for the first time, as well as bringing more people to Waterlane to use its other excellent leisure facilities.'

In addition to the climbing wall, the Bouldering Cave will be refurbished to provide a further challenge to climbers as part of new membership packages on offer.

Sentinel Leisure Trust will be appointing a climbing wall manager to lead instructors and staff – delivering a full programme of group sessions, birthday parties, structured and member sessions.

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