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Avid Climbing Ltd set to bring dedicated climbing centre to Ransomes Industrial Estate in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 October 2017

Premises in Bermuda Road which is going to become a new dedicated climbing centre with Avid Climbing Ltd. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Premises in Bermuda Road which is going to become a new dedicated climbing centre with Avid Climbing Ltd. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Ipswich is set to get a brand new dedicated climbing centre near Ravenswood after a planning application was submitted to convert an unused warehouse.

Avid Climbing Ltd lodged a planning application on October 3 to convert an unused warehouse on Ransomes Industrial Estate in Bermuda Road into an indoor climbing centre – with the centre expected to be the biggest in Ipswich if given the go-ahead.

James Platt, director of Locus Planning which was hired by Avid Climbing, said: “It was through an understanding of a lack of provision in Ipswich, and also the surrounding area.

“They understand the benefits of climbing and what it can bring in terms of social benefits.”

The application is currently open for consultation, and is due to be considered by planners in late November or early December.

If approved, Avid hopes to have the centre open and underway early next year.

Currently, Copleston Sports Centre’s climbing wall is one of the town’s most popular spots for budding climbers, but is not a dedicated climbing-only centre.

A number of potential sites were considered, including the vacant Odeon, the Maltings in Princes Street, and a former car showroom in West End Road, before settling on the Bermuda Road warehouse.

Mr Platt said: “Because of the nature of what you have with the height and floor area, you end up having a limited choice to pick from.

“This site really ticks all the boxes in terms of meeting the needs of the floor area and height, and also being a wholly accessible area close to Ravenswood.

“A lot of thought has gone into it and the steps we have had to go through has taken time.

“The fortunate thing is it’s not huge works, so depending on how things go we might be having permission in eight weeks time and could be set up in operation early next year.”

It is understood the owners are all climbing enthusiasts, and hope to take advantage of climbing set to become an Olympic sport, expected for the 2022 games.

Ipswich already has a higher than average sport take-up than the national average, which coupled with school tie-ups Avid hopes will get people involved.

Mr Platt added: “From our standpoint it’s the whole premise of sports provision and trying to bring something to Ipswich that isn’t here at the moment.”

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