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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Delay for climbing wall plan at Maryport Wave Centre

The opening of a £400,000 climbing attraction which, it is hoped will turn around the fortunes of Maryport’s Wave Centre, has been delayed.

It was thought that the Clip ‘n’ Climb equipment would be installed ready for visitors in the Easter holidays but this date has been put back.

Allerdale council is waiting for £159,000 from DEFRA’s Rural Development Programme for England which is to be used alongside £241,000 of council funding.

Councillor Michael Heaslip, executive member for leisure management, said: “Unfortunately, due to delays in the DEFRA approval process, the Clip ‘n’ Climb facility will not now be open for Easter, as I had hoped, but it will be ready for the May holidays.”

However, preparation work has now started in anticipation of the equipment’s arrival.

Twenty-three pieces of climbing adventure equipment will be installed in a redundant exhibition space at the centre. It will be suitable for everyone from pre-schoolers to the over-70s.

Originating from New Zealand, there are Clip ‘n’ Climb centres around the world but only one in the UK, at Exeter.

The Maryport attraction will be the only one in Cumbria and the north east.

The Wave Centre has suffered low visitor numbers and been propped up by large council subsidies since it opened in July 2008.

This project follows public consultation which revealed that people wanted to see the empty exhibition space in the building turned into something for young people to use. If the new climbing feature attracted 14,500 visitors per year the centre would break even.

Attracting 20,000 users, which is considered more likely, would mean the council could cut its £200,000 subsidy by £50,000.

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