£6m new-build adventure centre could create 60 jobs
By Andrew Merrell | 12th February 2019
Plans are afoot to build a £6 million climbing and sports centre on land between Gloucester and Cheltenham.
The site, which is currently being kept under wraps, is expected to be revealed by the business behind the proposals in the next few weeks.
In the meantime the Adventure Activity Company has released tantalising details of a centre it hopes will become one of only three in the UK which is of Olympic standard and will become a training centre for the British team.
There is talk of a 15-metre high climbing wall, a dedicated bouldering area (low-level climbing without ropes) catering for all abilities, a fun climbing area for children, and "an exciting artificial 100 metre caving system".
David Stevens, Adventure Activity Company director, and former co-owner of Cheltenham's Paragon Laundry business, said: "It's been quite a challenge to find a site that fulfils all of our requirements, however, we believe we have finally found the right spot.
"It promises to be really exciting, the new facilities will be a great benefit to the local community and surrounding region - breathing new life into the area.
"It will create around 60 new jobs, and with the addition of outdoor space and the new activities, we will be able to help fuel the ever-growing enthusiasm for adventurous experiences that are now so popular".
According to the Maisemore-based firm, "the blend, combining both indoor and outdoor activity elements, will be a first for the UK and make the venue a great all year-round destination for climbers and youth groups, as well as a memorable day out for friends and family".
It all goes to plan it will be open in 2020.
The new building would replace the Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester, also run by Mr Stevens, with all staff being offered the chance to apply for jobs at the new business.
Sites were looked at across the Midlands and the South West, but the owners were keen to remain in Gloucestershire.
After working closely with Gloucester City Council to find a suitable location, it was initially thought the ideal plot had been discovered at Westgate Park, however, a last-minute setback of land contamination ultimately ended the project altogether in 2018.
Design plans are nearing completion whilst the directors of the company work with the land owner and expect to proceed with submitting a planning application in the coming weeks.
There will also be a series of outdoor activities including a competition standard climbing wall, outdoor bouldering (both a first for the UK), a via ferrata (a vertical series of nets, ladders and obstacles to climb and manoeuvre), plus zip lines and high ropes.
In addition, an indoor sports pitch will provide a space for football, netball, tennis and more, all year round. It is also hoped the site will also incorporate small camping facilities and an accommodation block, offering youth and educational groups from all over the UK the opportunity for short-term stays and to make the most of the amenities.
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