Scaling new heights, as climbing centre secures final funding

Sociable climbers in Kilmarnock will soon be able to hit a new high, with confirmation that the new West of Scotland Climbing Centre, a major regeneration project in the town’s Woodstock Street, has won a successful funding bid for over £1.5m from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

As one of 18 successful projects, sharing a total pot of £20.4m aimed at supporting  community led  regeneration throughout Scotland, the new climbing and bouldering centre has now gained enough funding to enable the project to go ahead.  It fought off stiff competition, form a total of 45 other projects to win the funds. Work is scheduled to start on site in October 2019, with a projected completion date of 31 March 2021.

Named Above Adventure, the group which will develop the new centre which will be based in the former Grange Church, has been together since 2013, delivering climbing taster sessions to children, young people, veterans and people with disabilities with their accessible mini bus and  mobile climbing wall. The project has gained funding from a number of organisations including £305k from East Ayrshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund, an anticipated £178k from Historic Environment Scotland, £125K from the Robertson Trust and £100,000 from Sport Scotland.

Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure welcomed the news:  “With the development of a new permanent centre, Above Adventure will now be able to fulfil their aims of transforming the lives of people of all ages, particularly those who are disadvantaged through deprivation, disability or circumstance. At the same time, they’re helping to restore another of Kilmarnock’s beautiful historic buildings, and providing a great facility which will go a long way to foster and promote social inclusion in the town centre.

“Above Adventure worked hard with our Regeneration and Vibrant Communities teams to win this bid and identify the groups and individuals most likely to participate and benefit from the new centre. With their mobile unit they’ve already built up a keen following of potential future users. We’re all looking forward to seeing the end results.”

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