A MOUNTAIN rescue team in Huddersfield faces a new challenge.

The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team has said it “urgently” needs funding to build a new headquarters as its present-day home faces closure.

The team’s current base at Marsden fire station is earmarked to shut as part of West Yorkshire Fire Service cutbacks.

Permission for a new HQ in Meltham was secured in 2012, a team spokesman said.

But money is now needed to build the base so the team could continue to provide “essential” services, he said.

The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, which is entirely publicly funded, covers the southern half of West Yorkshire.

Averaging 18 to 20 incidents a year, its members are on call 24 hours a day to respond to incidents on nearby moors and upland areas.

Team spokesman Owen Phillips said a sponsored climbing event would be held later this month to help raise funds for the new base.

Now officials are calling on local climbers to take up the Seven Summits Challenge

They want funds to help them develop the new HQ in the Robert Ashton Memorial Park.

Huddersfield Sports Centre is generously supporting the team by hosting the sponsored climbing event on Sunday, January 27.

The Seven Summits Challenge event is open to any climber who wishes to participate, and the team would particularly welcome climbing clubs and members of other Mountain Rescue Teams to join in the event.

Owen Phillips, a spokesman for the Holme Valley Team, urged local climbers to take part.

“This will be a relaxed and enjoyable event, and we’re hoping that members of the local climbing community can come out and support us on the 27th.

“Mountain Rescue services in the UK, unlike most other countries, are completely free of charge and are provided by unpaid volunteers – climbers and mountaineers who want to give something back and be there to assist others if they get into difficulty.

“We are hoping local climbers can come together and help us out a little bit in return by participating in the sponsored climb, and helping to secure our future in the area”.

All you need to do to take part is to register at Huddersfield Climbing Wall (at Huddersfield Sports Centre) before January 20 and raise over £50 for Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team.

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