Oldham town centre to get a huge new climbing centre

Reporter: Charlotte Green (Local Democracy Reporter)
Date published: 18 August 2019

Documents have been submitted to the council outlining plans for a rock-climbing centre, covering more than 1,800 sqm next to the Mahdlo Youth Zone, and near to Oldham Coliseum theatre.

The centre – which would be the first of its kind in the borough – would offer people the opportunity to enjoy bouldering, clip-in climbing and lead climbing.

It would also include a soft play area for kids, and party rooms.

The Stoller Charitable Trust, who are behind the proposals, want to use land formerly occupied by the All Nations Church on Egerton Street, which has now been demolished.
The design of the futuristic building is inspired by the Peak District and local stone ‘gritstone’ in particular, according to the architects behind it.

Documents submitted to the town hall by AEW Architects & Designers Ltd state that gritstone is a hard, coarse-grained sandstone, ‘relished by English rock climbers for its deep fractures and coarse face’.

A viewing area is proposed to look out over the climbing area which would be directly accessible from the entrance, next to the reception and cafe in order to provide views throughout the building for non-climbers.

“A large window on the south facade is designed to provide views to the Peak District, visible from the entrance of the building, connecting the interior and exterior seamlessly,” the design and access statement adds.

The three storey building would be specially designed to cope with the different levels of the land, with three storeys at the lower end of the site and one storey at the upper end.

There would be climbing facilities, retail facilities, a cafe and viewing areas, toilets and changing rooms and staff amenities.

The mezzanine floor would consist of organised spaces for climbing events, with the lower ground floor used solely for the lead climbing area.

The developer aims to make the purpose-built centre able cater to people of ‘all ages’.

There are plans for two accessible parking bays, but the no other parking will be proposed due to the number of car parks that already surround the site.

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