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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Cumbrian tourist attraction plans indoor caving system

PLANS have been revealed for an £80,000 caving experience at Maryport’s Wave Centre.

clipnclimbpic1005
Crowdpuller: Clip ‘n Climb has taken off at the The Wave Centre in Maryport

Allerdale Council and its partner Carlisle Leisure Limited say they are investigating “new ways” to cement its reputation as a top visitor attraction.

And one of those being explored is an indoor caving system.

A council spokeswoman said: “Clip ‘n Climb [at The Wave] has proved to be a great success and we are hoping we can bring even more fun and quirky facilities here for local people and tourists to enjoy.

“One of the things we are looking at is an indoor caving system – rather like potholing, but in a warm and dry environment. It’s early days, as we are seeking external funding for this initiative, but we should know in the summer whether this is a viable project.”

Carlisle Leisure Limited is now seeking tenders from contractors to design and construct the caving experience. Other possible projects that have been discussed for the centre include a high ropes course as well as a synthetic ice rink.

In its successful first year, the Clip ‘n Climb experience has soared above the 14,000 visitors it needed to break even reaching 40,000.

The centre was initially subsidised to the tune of £225,000 a year by Allerdale, but that figure has now dropped to £150,000 because of Clip ’n Climb.

Kelly Donnelly, Carlisle Leisure’s marketing development officer, said that while there had been 40,000 paying Clip ’n Climb customers, the venture had actually brought in 70,000 visitors to the centre, including families of climbers, school groups, youth organisations and business groups.

About 80 per cent of visitors were from Cumbria and the rest from outside the area.

Closing date for tenders is 4pm on Friday, May 9 by email to richard.foster@cultureleisurelife.com

JBarwise@cngroup.co.uk

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