‘Help us bring rock climbing to Louth!’

Darren and Heather outside the building in North Holme Road, Louth.
Darren and Heather outside the building in North Holme Road, Louth.

A Louth couple are hoping to bring an exciting new rock climbing facility to the town - but they will need the community’s help to make it become a reality.

Darren and Heather Thompson are the owners of Ascend Climbing Gym, and they have secured planning permission to convert the former Woodthorpe Bodyworks building in North Holme Road into a brand new bouldering (rock climbing) facility - which would be the only dedicated bouldering facility within a 40 mile radius.

Darren and Heather Thompson with Jason Hill, who will be a supervisor at the facility.

Darren and Heather Thompson with Jason Hill, who will be a supervisor at the facility.

The couple had intended renting the building, but unfortunately the lease agreement recently fell through, leaving them with only one option - to acquire a mortgage and purchase the building.

However, this comes at a cost - and the couple have been left seeking £110,000 in the next six weeks.

Darren and Heather hope to acquire some of the money through grants, from organisations such as Sport England and the National Lottery - and the community can help their chances of success by writing a short testimonial expressing support for the rock climbing facility to come to Louth, or how you believe it will benefit the area. These testimonials can be emailed to darren.j.thompson@outlook.com.

The couple is also offering a reward scheme for anyone who wishes to make a donation to wards the proposed facility.

Once the deposit has been paid and the facility is open, donors have the options of reclaiming the value of their donation with 2-for-1 vouchers, or having their donations added to the facility’s charity contributions to three worthy causes over the next five years.

If all goes well, the couple hopes to be able to open the new facility in the autumn.

Darren told the Leader: “We believe that the people of our community deserves access to one of the fastest growing sports, and with climbing seeing its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020, there is no better time to make this a reality.

“Bouldering gives a full body workout and keeps the mind sharp, offering an exciting alternative to the routine of other fitness regimes.”

Darren continued: “We are determined and driven to bring this asset to our community, and we are exploring every avenue to raise the funds needed including sporting grants, crowd funding, and fundraising events.”

Visit www.facebook.com/ascendclimbinggymlouth to find out more. You can find the link to their GoFundMe page on their Facebook page too.

• The written expressions of support from the local­ community will be sent to Sport England at the end of this week, so email Darren as soon as possible if you wish 
to offer your support.