A 30 metres tall Olympic-grade climbing centre planned for a countryside site in Peterborough will not be an eyesore, the park’s boss has vowed.
Nene Park is seeking the green light to build a £5 million plus towering climbing walls facility next to Gunwade Lake in the heart of the 1,725 acre Ferry Meadows parkland.
If approved, it will be open in April 2020 just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics where climbing will feature as a world-class sport for the first time.
The proposed development is part of Nene Park’s 30 year master plan unveiled last year to promote greater use of the historic parkland and to help drive up the health and wellbeing of Peterborough people.
Nene Parks chief executive Matthew Bradbury said: “We think Peterborough is ready for some unusual architecture and that this will put Peterborough on the map.
“Once it is completed, it will be less prominent that the image makes it look. It will not be an eyesore.”
He said the centre’s steel frame would be covered by a cladding that would be in keeping with the surroundings. It is also planned to plant many more trees in the surrounding parkland.
He said: “The feedback we have already received has been overwhelmingly positive.
“From work on our master plan we already know that people want to see more all weather activities at Ferry Meadows and there was a lot of support for climbing facilities.”
The timetable for the centre’s development involves securing planning permission from Peterborough City Council early next year with construction starting in February and the centre opening in April 2020.
Mr Bradbury said the centre would not be a commercial venture and any profits made would be put back into the park.
“We expect to see around a 15 per cent increase in the use of the park due to these facilities. It will offer a huge boost for the city’s leisure scene.”