New Larne climbing centre seeks planning permission

Mark Robinson.
Mark Robinson.

East Antrim’s first indoor climbing centre has been earmarked for a unit at Ledcom in Larne.

The facility is being developed by Mark Robinson owner of the adventure company Climb NI.

A planning application has been made to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the new centre at the Bank Road site which he hopes could be open by November.

He said that the facility will be suitable for climbers from as young as five-years-old.

The centre will be offering a “mixture of rope climbs and bouldering” with classes available.

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed on artificial rock walls, without the use of ropes or harnesses.

He indicated that the provision will offer a choice of 18 climbs up to 25 ft which will be changed approximately every two months.

Mark went on to say that climbing, which he believes, is becoming increasingly popular is currently offered by businesses mainly at outdoor locations such as the Mournes. One of the activities that Mark operates locally is climbing at Gleno Waterfall.

He indicated that he also plans to extend the sport at his new Larne base to disabled participants.

Commenting on his plans, he said: “The wall will bring a new skill base to the town for employment and potential apprenticeship schemes for school leavers and adults.

“With climbing set to become an Olympic sport from next year, there is always the potential of getting somebody from Larne competing in that.”

At next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, climbers will compete in three bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing for one combined set of medals per gender. A qualifying event will be held in November.