Climb­ing wall plan for Ferry Mead­ows

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Grin­nell paul.grin­ Twit­ter: @PTPaulGrin­nell

A 30 me­tres tall Olympic­grade climb­ing cen­tre planned for a coun­try­side site in Peter­bor­ough will not be an eye­sore, the park’s boss has vowed.

Nene Park is seek­ing the green light to build a £5 mil­lion plus tow­er­ing climb­ing walls fa­cil­ity next to Gun­wade Lake in the heart of the 1,725 acre Ferry Mead­ows park­land.

If ap­proved, it will be open in April 2020 just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics where climb­ing will fea­ture as a world­class sport for the first time.

The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is part of Nene Park’s 30 year master plan un­veiled last year to pro­mote greater use of the his­toric park­land and to help drive up the health and well­be­ing of Peter­bor­ough peo­ple.

Nene Parks chief ex­ec­u­tive Matthew Bradbury said: “We think Peter­bor­ough is ready for some un­usual ar­chi­tec­ture and that this will put Peter­bor­ough on the map.

“Once it is com­pleted, it will be less prom­i­nent that the im­age makes it look. It will not be an eye­sore.”

He said the cen­tre’s steel frame would be cov­ered by a cladding that would be in keep­ing with the sur­round­ings. It is also planned to plant many more trees in the sur­round­ing park­land.

He said: “The feed­back we have al­ready re­ceived has been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive.

“From work on our master plan we al­ready know that peo­ple want to see more all weather ac­tiv­i­ties at Ferry Mead­ows and there was a lot of sup­port for climb­ing fa­cil­i­ties.”

The timetable for the cen­tre’s de­vel­op­ment in­volves se­cur­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion from Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil early next year with con­struc­tion start­ing in Fe­bru­ary and the cen­tre open­ing in April 2020.

Mr Bradbury said the cen­tre would not be a com­mer­cial ven­ture and any prof­its made would be put back into the park.

“We ex­pect to see around a 15 per cent in­crease in the use of the park due to these fa­cil­i­ties. It will of­fer a huge boost for the city’s leisure scene.”

This im­age shows how the planned Olympic-grade climb­ing walls fa­cil­ity at Ferry Mead­ows will ap­pear.

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