The reopening of an outdoor activities centre after two years will give residents ‘the chance to have adventures again’, the new manager has said.
The Adur Outdoor Activities Centre, in Brighton Road on the riverbank, has reopened its climbing wall and will continue to gradually introduce new activities – from rifle shooting to caving – over the coming months.
Alex Hardman, centre manager, said the climbing wall had proved popular since it reopened in February, with many people attending weekend taster sessions.
He said: “That’s been very successful. There’s been lots of young families coming through. People are definitely enjoying it.”
Staff had worked to rearrange around 2,500 holds on the wall into more than 60 new routes.
Mr Hardman described it as ‘a sight to behold’ which would provide a good challenge for seasoned climbers, but added: “If you’re new to climbing, it’s a more friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
“It’s a lot more chilled out than other climbing walls and not so intimidating.”
The centre had closed when the previous operators went into voluntary liquidation in 2015.
But last year, Adur District Council awarded a 15-year lease on the centre to a partnership of two organisations, education charity United Learning and outdoor education specialists Adventure Lifesigns.
The centre has now been completely repainted and a team of 13 assembled.
As well as kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding, the partnership is looking to introduce activities including outdoor artificial caving system, high ropes, camping and diving.
Mr Hardman said it would provide new opportunities for residents.
“There’s a chance for them to have adventures again and for people to dip their toes back into all the activities they used to do and more,” he said.
The facility is also working towards being a technical training centre, where residents will be able to gain qualifications and going on overseas expeditions.
Mr Hardman anticipates that all activities will be running by the time RiverFest, an annual community event which includes dragon boat racing, is held in August.
Mr Hardman is currently in discussion with the organisers on how they can work together, as he said: “We want to be recognised as part of the community.”
Find out more at www.adurcentre.org.uk