New £500,000 indoor climbing centre is set to open in Ipswich

A cgi of how the new Avid Climbing Centre, opening in Ipswich this autumn, could look.

A cgi of how the new Avid Climbing Centre, opening in Ipswich this autumn, could look. - Credit: Tectonica Design Lab

Ipswich is to get a brand new £500,000 indoor climbing and `bouldering’ centre, on the edge of town at Ransomes Europark.

A new sports facility, a climbing centre, is being created at Ransomes Europark.
Alistair Mitchell

A new sports facility, a climbing centre, is being created at Ransomes Europark. Alistair Mitchell of agents Fenn Wright with Lindsay Barker, director of Avid Climbing Ltd - Credit: Big Fish Photography

Avid Climbing is converting a 7,000 sq ft former warehouse in Bermuda Road into the special centre and aims to open to the public next month.

In fact Ipswich will be getting two climbing centres as Clip `N’ Climb has begun building a climbing centre nearby at The Havens, Ransomes Europark, set to open Easter 2019.

Lindsay Barker, a director of Avid Climbing, said they were on track to be open in September.

She said: “Climbing is sociable, dynamic and fun. It’s a great way of improving strength and fitness and it is a perfect alternaiive alternative to going to the gym, It is suitable for all ages - and it exercises the body and mind.”

A new indoor climbing centre is being constructed at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich
Alistair Mitchell o

A new indoor climbing centre is being constructed at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich Alistair Mitchell of agents Fenn Wright and Lindsay Barker, director of Avid Climbing Ltd - Credit: Big Fish Photography

There would be a variety of climbing and `bouldering’ to suit all ages, she said, with 500 metres of walls, up to 4.5 metres high, and 250 routes to take.

“There will be a special, padded safety floor which will have a carpet covering.”

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It doesn’t involve ropes.

Miss Barker said: “We are very excited about this new venture and finding the right premises was a really important part of getting things in place. We were originally looking for a site that was closer to Ipswich town centre but we weren’t able to secure one which is why working with Fenn Wright has been so helpful. The Fenn Wright team was able to deliver a very efficient, timely and professional service. They were also able to secure our premises on the best terms possible.”

Inside the building is being transformed with the creation of the climbing walls, reception, changing rooms and cafe, and office space. The centre will employm 12-15 full-time staff.

For Miss Barker it is a new venture, after 24 years working in local government. More recently she was deputy chief executive of Babergh and Mid Suffolk couuncils.

She added: “The increasing popularity of climbing, and the fact it is in the 2020 Olympics tells us that there is an appetite for this kind of physical sport. “We knew that the East of England had very few climbing facilities and were keen to bring a regional facility to Ipswich, so we are feeling confident that Avid Climbing will be well received.”

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