Climbing centre takes community to new heights

OLDHAM’S new Summit Up climbing centre is ‘perfect’ for the community, says Great Britain climbing star Shauna Coxsey.

Shauna visited the multi-million-pound centre, on Egerton Street in the town centre, ahead of its official opening on September 18 to see the new facilities for herself.

The 20,000 sq ft climbing centre features a wide variety of state-of-the-art climbing walls, angles and holds suitable for climbers of all ages and abilities.

Shauna Coxsey at Summit Up

Climbers can explore 100 climbing routes spread across 47 rope lines, two official speed walls with timers and a unique bouldering area with a floating boulder and two-tier section.

It is also home to one of the largest and highest Clip ‘n Climb arenas in the UK, with 25 different fun challenges for ages 4+, plus toddler sessions and children’s parties.

There are also two ValoClimb walls that use the world’s first interactive gaming technology – combining climbing with interactive gaming.

Overlooking the Clip ‘n Climb arena sits an alpine themed café called South Ridge Café, offering a selection of food and drinks, with a great view of the centre.

Fresh from an inspiring performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Shauna was impressed by the facilities on offer.

“It is really rare to find a centre like this that has been purpose built,” said Shauna, who has now retired from competitive climbing.

“This space is perfect to showcase what climbing has to offer and the different ways people can enjoy it.

“As soon as you come in, you see the baby area and then onto the Clip ‘n Climb and all the different types of walls. It caters for children and beginners right through to professionals.

“I am a big proponent of inclusiveity, diverseness and accessibility and the space is perfect for all those.

“All ages and abilities can climb on the same wall so everybody is involved together.

“Climbing should be a sport for everybody and spaces like this makes sure that is possible. The more people who can experience it the better so they can engage with the sport at their own level.”

Shauna was four years old when she first starting climbing after seeing the sport on TV then joining a local centre and her dad joined in not long after – and they still climb together now.

“I’ve been travelling all over the world competing since I was 18 so over 10 years now,” Shauna added.

“Standing on top of world championship podiums has been magical and the Olympics were insane!

“But the most important thing for me is that I still love my sport – and I hope other people discover it too.”

Summit Up is a community-focused project initiated by The Stoller Charitable Trust (SCT), which provides opportunities to raise aspirations, support Oldham’s young people to reach the height of their ability and provide a helping hand when it is most needed.

The centre aims to provide a fun and safe space for the whole family to experience something new and push their limits. All distributable profits will go directly back into supporting the charity.

Lindsay Walsh, SCT director, was tasked three years ago with the project along with Stephen Lowe and Mike Doran, Mahdlo’s CEO who passed away in April 2020 after a battle with Covid-19.

They came up with the concept to meet their brief of something which would generate income, be of benefit for the community and offer something inclusive for all ages.

“Covid set us back a bit around the start of the build. It slowed the process down but we overcome it and carried on,” said Lindsay.

“We’re very pleased with the result, it’s fantastic. I’m honoured to be invovled with this exciting project.

“We were asked to find something that covered the different age groups and we did that – we’ve covered the whole spectrum.

“Norman [Stoller, the benefactor] is over the moon with what we have achieved.”

• For more information on the Summit Up centre or to book a climbing slot, visit

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