New Perth College Climbing Centre receives sportscotland support

Perth College UHI has been awarded £200,000 from sportscotland to house Scotland’s newest indoor climbing facility within the new Academy of Sport and Wellbeing.

Perth College UHI has been awarded £200,000 from sportscotland to house Scotland’s newest indoor climbing facility within the new Academy of Sport and Wellbeing. The Academy, which opened in September 2016, provides hair, beauty and wellbeing, sport and academic facilities for students, staff and wider community groups.

Margaret Munckton, Perth College UHI Principal said: ‘We are delighted to have received such a significant contribution from sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund for the development of our Perth College UHI Climbing Centre, greatly enhancing the student experience here at Perth. It is the first centre of excellence purpose-built to meet the Climb Scotland Level 1 facility development strategy.

“It is at the heart of our new Academy to prepare our students for employment, whilst also increasing participation in sport.”

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, comments on the project: “At sportscotland we pride ourselves on being able to support facilities that are committed to enhancing sporting experiences.

“Officially declared a new Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee, it’s encouraging to see that climbing is being recognised as a tier 1 sport. This new facility will help develop and increase participation at all levels of the sport, also catering for para climbers. I look forward to working closely with the team at the new Academy of Sport and Wellbeing to develop our relationship further.”

Kevin Howett, Sports Development Officer for Mountaineering Scotland, has been involved with the project from the outset and said: “The staff at Perth College UHI have shown a real commitment to this project and have worked with us to realise the first of our new ‘Regional Climbing Hubs’. One of our aims at Mountaineering Scotland is to develop the climbing coaches of the future, and this new Climbing Centre has a substantial area devoted to sport-specific training, which will be invaluable to local climbers as well as students at the College.

“The centre will also act as a catalyst for developing schools climbing clubs in Perth and Kinross as it will be able to accommodate local and regional youth competitions and will be part of our ‘ClimbScotland’ initiative for getting more children active in climbing.”

Designed, manufactured and installed by local company, Dream Climbing Walls, the new climbing centre will be suitable for new and experienced climbers, as well as performance climbing athletes, ensuring a sustainable progression route for all levels of ability. Climbers will be faced with a feast of unusual and striking features inspired by iconic Scottish rock climbing venues such as Carn Dearg, Mangersta, Strone Ulladale and Etive Slabs.

Scott Muir, Dream Climbing Walls owner explained: “A visual explosion of vertical walls, slabs, overhangs, soaring curved and stepped aretes, a flared chimney, bomb bay corners and flying grooves await; all subtly and aesthetically merged to create an indoor climbers paradise. In addition to offering over 90 different climbing routes of varying grades, the Climbing Centre also boasts a challenging bouldering wall with over 40 set problems and training circuits. A unique feature of the bouldering wall is a massive suspended horizontal overhang which allows climbers to boulder upside down. A dedicated training zone has campus rungs, circuits, hemispheres, beastmaker’s and other training aids to help climbers strengthen forearms, shoulders and fingers, all essential for good climbing.

“My team and I loved bringing this project to reality with Perth College UHI. It is very significant development for Scottish climbing at time when climbing has just become an Olympic Sport with integration into Tokyo’s Summer 2020 Olympics. We are fortunate as a nation to have some fantastic talent and excellent climbing facilities that are developing recreational climbers and the superstars of the future. Our aim as a business is to set and raise the standard in climbing through ‘dream’ climbing facilities that will take the sport to the next level. We hope that visitors and users have a fantastic time exploring this exciting climbing venue.”

The Perth College Climbing Centre will open to the public in January 2017.