EXCITEMENT is building ahead of Summit Up coming to town....and the official opening is still some months away.
Summit Up is an Olympic-style indoor climbing and leisure centre in the heart of Oldham, set to attract up to 90,000 people to the town annually.
The stimulating new development - which is being built by the Stoller Charitable Trust - is now under construction on land on Egerton Street, adjacent to the hugely popular Mahdlo Youth Zone. Summit Up is expected to create around 40 jobs and all the distributable profits made will be reinvested into the Charity.
Oldham businessman Sir Norman Stoller, joined his father, Ivor, when he left the Royal Air Force in the fifties helped build Seton Products Limited, famous for its tubular bandages, to become an International public company The Seton Healthcare Group. Norman founded the Stoller Charitable Trust in the 1980s. He was honoured to become a Freeman of the Borough of Oldham in 2008 and Knighted in 2016 for his services to philanthropy and disadvantaged children, having donated millions of pounds to good causes.
Sir Norman said: "Summit Up is being created with the community in mind.
"We want to create a space where everyone can feel safe to push their limits, try something new, bring the family and most importantly, have fun.
"While we are a 'for-profit' business, Summit Up is the trading subsidiary of 'The Stoller Charitable Trust', whose purpose has been to provide opportunities to raise aspirations, support Oldham’s young people to reach the height of their ability and to provide a helping hand when it is most needed.
"All of Summit Up’s distributable profits will go directly to Charity. Our motivation in creating the Summit Up Climbing Centre is to leave a lasting legacy for the next generation of the Oldham community
The Chairman of the Summit Up Board, Stephen Lowe DL FCIB, who is the Trust’s Project Manager , explained "We strive for excellence and will feel proud if we succeed in creating an accessible and inclusive experience for all the family, from complete novices through seasoned climbers and even those just looking to try something new.
"We want to create a space that inspires and motivates all ages to be active and ambitious.
"It is our hope that 'Summit Up' will connect the community and create a lasting social venue in Oldham."
Designed by Entre-Prises UK, the sole supplier of climbing walls for the 2021 Olympic Games and the creators of Clip ‘n Climb, visitors will be able to experience world-class walls as climbed by the world’s best competition climbers.
Climbing will be an Olympic sport this year, and the centre will have all three Olympic disciplines of lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing. Summit Up will be the only centre in Greater Manchester with an official speed climbing facility.
It will be the tallest and biggest Clip ’n Climb in the North of England, featuring 35 challenges including Climb fan favourite challenges the adrenalin pumping Leap of Faith, the signature Stairway to Heaven and a thrilling10m Vertical Drop Slide.
There will also be two ‘ValoClimb’ walls that use ‘world’s first’ interactive gaming technology, designed to boost fitness and offer a challenging alternative to traditional climbing.
Children as young as two will be able to take part in special toddler sessions within a soft play area, and standard sessions will be available for all ages and abilities, making the unique climbing centre suitable and fun for families.
The centre will also have retail, merchandise and a cafe.
The purpose-built climbing centre aims to provide a fun and safe space for the community to experience something new and push their limits, as well as simply offering an exciting new leisure activity for people in the area.
Elliot has started climbing sessions with Sarah, at Summit Up, which has been fantastic! Climbing has such a positive impact on him. It is so good for his physical fitness and each time he climbs, we see him really having to work hard and use his problem-solving skills. Most important of all, he clearly really enjoys it!
I needed a sport that gave me the sense of adventure I was missing in my life....If I had an addiction, it would be climbing. I just can’t imagine living without it.
For anyone thinking of starting climbing, Tim's advice is simple, "It's less about your arms than you think. If you can climb a flight of stairs, then you are able to climb a rock climb."