A major extension of the facilities at the ROKT climbing centre in Brighouse will be ready early next year - and is expected to boost Yorkshire’s medal hopes at the 2020 Olympics.
The team at ROKT has begun work on the new £100,000 Northlight Loft – a two-storey addition to the current facilities in the converted Flour Mill, also known as Sugden’s Old Flour Mill.
Due for completion in early 2017, it will feature a 4.5m high boulder chamber with over 300 ‘climbing problems’ set by Team GB route setters.
It is being constructed in the top part of the Flour Mill and will have rooftop windows, training mezzanine, seating area, gym rings and other equipment.
The total value of the investment has been put at £100,000.
It will mark the centre’s first year anniversary of being hit by flooding and is one of several new additions and refurbishments completed throughout this year.
The Boxing Day flood engulfed the entire bottom floor of the facility when the river Calder burst its banks. In some places the water was four or five feet deep. It was soon up and running thanks to the efforts of volunteers and a crowdfunding appeal.
Euan Noble, commercial director of ROKT, said: “This is one of our biggest projects to date and one of a number of game changers we hope to create this year.
“We can’t say too much about the other plans yet, only that they will be firsts for Yorkshire and possibly the UK.
“Northlight puts us into another league and when completed elite climbers will have more space to train and hone their skills – especially important as climbing will now be an Olympic sport from 2020.
“It will also offer amateur climbers exciting new challenges, ways of improving and achieving things they never thought possible on a wall before.
“It’s been a hard year with lots of rebuilding, flood resilience systems and – most importantly – new facilities across the centre.
“We are now bigger than ever and when the Northlight is completed, we’ll have a climbing centre that’s hard to rival anywhere in the country which is great news for climbing, the local economy and Yorkshire.”
Once completed, Northlight will be the latest in a series of improvements at the Brighouse-based centre which also includes a refurbished competition wall, extended bouldering chambers, new bouldering cave, refurbished ground floor flooring and the addition of a R1DE spin cycle studio.