Climbing is on the up with new centre

Climbing is on the rise as the latest Olympic event and Preston could be ready to give youngsters a leg up for Tokyo 2020.

Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 5:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:07 pm
Climbing on the up as a new centre is planned for Preston

Plans for a climbing centre in the city have been lodged with the council to tap into the sport’s soaring popularity.

The authority’s planning committtee has been asked to give the thumbs up for the conversion of an empty industrial unit in Ribbleton.

And the company behind the project says it will provide the city with a “much-needed” activity , as well as 16 new jobs - six of them full-time. If plans are passed, the centre will be housed in a unit in Wyder Court on Millennium Way.

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A planning statement submitted to the committee says the unit’s owners, the LCM Group, have been trying to find a tenant for the disused building for the past year.

The project would be the second climbing centre in Preston, following on from one at West View Leisure Centre, also in Ribbleton. It will have a cafe and a seating area for viewing on a mezzanine level.

“Climbing is becoming more and more popular and, with climbing now being in the Olympics 2020 in Tokyo, the sport will just keep getting bigger and more popular,” said the planning statement.

“There is only one other climbing centre in Preston. The demand for another facility is high and could only benefit Preston and the surrounding areas, encouraging even more people to try the sport.

“There is not a specific area of Preston where this unique activity can be placed. The main aspect to consider when looking for a suitable building is the height. This has been extremely difficult to find and has taken us 18 months to find a building to suit all the requirements.”

The applicants say the facility could be used by schools and would also cater for the disabled.