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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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First steps at new West Cumbria climbing arena

Maryport's latest £450,000 tourist attraction will open on Monday.

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GOING UP: Charlotte Pike, of Maryport’s Ewanrigg Junior School, tries out one of the attractions at the new Clip ‘n Climb arena in the Wave Centre, which opens on Monday

Clip ’n Climb, billed as “so much more than a climbing wall”, is set to turn around the Wave Centre’s fortunes.

The Irish Street venue is only the second Clip ’n Climb site in Britain.

It is hoped it will attract around 20,000 visitors a year. The first centre, in Exeter, attracts 50,000 people a year.

The climbing arena features an automatic system that pulls users up and down via a rope system.

It is suitable for all ages, and wheelchair users can experience some of the attraction.

On Wednesday, 30 youngsters from the town’s Ewanrigg Junior School were among the first to use the arena.

The Wave Centre is owned by Allerdale council and managed by Carlisle Leisure Limited.

Martin Horne, of Carlisle Leisure, said: “We are confident about the product and we already have parties booked in before we open.”

The centre’s restaurant has also had a £50,000 revamp and has been taken over by Lynne Marsh, of the Lakes College catering department at Lillyhall. It includes new furniture and a new menu.

The investment has come from Allerdale council, which has given £244,000, and Defra, which has contributed £159,000.

Allerdale council leader Alan Smith said he was pleased the council had invested in the Wave Centre rather than turn its back on the venue.

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