A new climbing wall is being installed at Thrapston’s Nene Centre this week.
The Nene Centre, which is now run by leisure operators Freedom Leisure on behalf of East Northamptonshire Council, is to undergo the first phase of refurbishment works with the installation of a six-metre high children’s climbing wall.
Freedom Leisure is starting a schedule of improvements across all three centres in the district, with £32,000 invested into the new indoor climbing facility.
Installation work is set to start this week and will take about a week to complete, with staff training to commence immediately after.
It is hoped that customers will be able to use the new wall by the end of June or beginning of July.
The wall will be available for casual climbing sessions, group and party bookings and for school use, and will be the only climbing wall in East Northamptonshire.
The equipment is being installed by Hangfast Adventure Engineering, who will also be training centre staff.
Hangfast are experienced engineers who say ‘they have been creating adventure since 2001.’
The climbing wall will be a top-rope climbing wall with eight top rope lines and four auto belays.
It can have 16 or more different climbing routes at any one time, with the option to reset the routes at regular intervals to keep the experience fresh and challenge climbers.
It features slab, vertical and overhanging surfaces to test all abilities, with classic top-rope anchors allowing the teaching of the fundamental climbing skills, belaying and rope techniques.
Chris Tye, area manager for Freedom Leisure, said: “This wall is the first brand new facility being added by Freedom Leisure since it commenced its contract on April 1.
“Freedom Leisure is more than just a leisure centre operator, it prioritises engendering active communities and targeting groups who are currently less active.
“This wall will be a wonderful facility for local children, giving them the opportunity to try indoor climbing as a sport – who knows, we may even help to find and nurture the country’s next generation of climbing stars.”
Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council, added: “We’re very excited to see the improvements to our centres being rolled out and are confident that this climbing wall will be enjoyed by many children who have perhaps never tried this sport before.
“We’re working closely with Freedom Leisure to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for all of our residents and look forward to announcing further centre improvements and new initiatives for all ages to enjoy.”
To find out more about all facilities at The Nene Centre visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk or call 01832 734090.
Freedom Leisure is a not-for-profit leisure trust and manages 75 leisure centres in partnership with 16 local authorities in England and Wales, including the Nene Centre as well as the Pemberton Centre and Splash in Rushden.