Oldham’s 20,000 sq ft climbing centre gets underway
Lancashire-headquartered Conlon Construction has been appointed to build the indoor climbing facility called Summit Up, which is due to open next summer.
Oldham Council approved plans for the 20,000 sq ft leisure facility last December and it is expected to become one of the largest indoor climbing centres in the UK.
Conlon has been appointed as the main contractor for Summit Up and started work on the project this month.
The scheme, designed by AEW Architects and led by Summit Up operator the Stoller Charitable Trust, will offer a range of climbing and retail facilities, including a ‘Clip n Climb’ wall and the three disciplines of speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering.
The building has been designed as a split-level space comprising upper ground, mezzanine and lower ground floors, to complement the steep gradient of the site on Egerton Street in Oldham town centre.
The internal space will also offer a soft play area, Valo Climb interactive climbing walls, a cafe and viewing areas, toilets, changing rooms, and staff amenities, with fit-out delivered by Entre-Prises, the company behind the Clip n Climb concept.
Meanwhile, the external design of the futuristic building has been inspired by the Peak District and the appearance of local ‘gritstone’, according to the architect. The project is being overseen by consultancy Dooley Associates.
Summit Up is a trading subsidiary of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which aims to provide opportunities to raise aspirations and support young people in Oldham. All profits made by the climbing centre are to be reinvested back into the charity.
Darren Lee, commercial director at Conlon Construction, said: “This is a landmark project in Oldham – from the unique design features through to the fact that Summit Up will be run entirely for the benefit of local causes – and we are proud to be playing a part in it.
“It also marks our continued growing footprint across Greater Manchester, having established our network in the city-region over recent years.
“We have our sights set on numerous projects that would benefit from Conlon’s approach to modern developments and true social value, and will be using our time in Oldham to prove our capabilities in the leisure sector.”
Stephen Lowe, chairman of SCT Climbing, the Summit Up trading vehicle, added: “As well as Conlon Construction’s extensive experience as main contractor on flagship developments across the North, they – like the other members of the project team – are likeminded partners with the same ambitions as us: to deliver facilities that offer new opportunities for local communities.
“We are confident in Conlon’s ability to bring something exciting to Oldham, which will not only set new standards in the design of leisure facilities but also increase visitors to the area and improve the local economy.”