A project to create an indoor climbing facility in Inverness has secured £200,000 in funding from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The rock climbing wall will form part of a new climbing performance centre and adventure sports destination in the capital of the Highlands.
Other facilities in the centre will include a café, a high-performance gym and fitness studio, and a retail outlet. Scottish charitable incorporated organisation, The Ledge, is behind the centre.
HIE’s funding will contribute towards the costs of fitting out the climbing wall, which it said is expected to create up to 16 full time equivalent jobs within two years.
The centre will be located within an existing warehouse in the city’s Longman estate, with it due to open in Spring 2022. It is estimated that the facility will generate £1 million a year for the local economy.
It will be accredited by the Mountaineering Scotland as a level three hub and a regional centre of excellence and is also expected to support delivery of further education courses in sustainable mountain development.
Karen Peasnall, business development account manager with HIE’s Inner Moray Firth team, said, “The Highlands and Islands is becoming increasingly recognised for its opportunities in adventure tourism. The sector has significant potential for further growth, with most firms expecting more activity in the medium and longer term.
“We expect the climbing performance centre at The Ledge will rapidly become an established part of this growth. We are very pleased to be able to support this excellent project and very much look forward to continuing to work with The Ledge as the project takes shape.”
Duncan McCallum, chief executive of The Ledge, added, “We are extremely pleased to receive such an important part of our funding from HIE. This is in recognition of the centre’s role, in job creation and promoting economic regeneration, in such an important sector as active tourism and leisure.
“There has never been a better time to live, visit and work in the Highlands, and this is being recognised by so many people who visit and are looking to the Highlands, to offer them an improved quality of life. The Ledge centre will become an important component in the city and regions infrastructure, which will support this social and economic growth and build confidence for an exciting future, whilst supporting the most vulnerable in the community through our charitable work.”