A new Olympic-class climbing facility is nearing completion in a former Brighouse flour mill’s colossal loft.
Stretching across the top two floors, the Northlight at ROKT will feature ‘next-level bouldering’ with 250m squared of bouldering walls, curves, angles, slabs, barrels and overhangs.
Northlight will also play home to a dedicated training area with top climbing equiptment all aimed at climbers wanting to train hard and increase their abilities, including everyone from ROKT’s in-house team to GB athletes.
Initial work is expected to be completed in late December and ready to open early 2018.
It follows the creation and launch of the UK’s highest man-made outdoor climbing wall, ROKTFACE, which welcomed climbers earlier this year.
Euan Noble, ROKT’s Managing Director, said: “From day one, we wanted to create something special here at ROKT – something that would turn heads – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
“Just when people started to think ROKT had reached its peak, we’re going higher. We already have several kilometers of climbing walls which cater for beginners through to serious climbers. But the Northlight is a whole new level that will provide the kind of challenge that the very best climbers look for.
“Climbing is being introduced into the 2020 Olympics for the first time, so now is the time to get ready for what we predict will be a global growth in participation in the sport. Four years after that it could be even bigger, so we want to start bedding ourselves in now as a leading UK facility to enjoy, train and improve.
“Northlight is a truly collaborative creation, the whole ROKT team have designed the elements whilst also benefiting from our own in-house Team GB athlete, Luke Murphy, who is also a coach at ROKT.”
Luke, 19, from Hebden Bridge, said: “I’ve been climbing since I was a little kid and I’ve seen the sport grow so much over the years. So to have the chance to help create something special like this is amazing.
"I don’t just like to climb, I like to be challenged and from a personal point of view, Northlight will be great for my development. But the bigger picture is to attract more climbers here, support their growth and see where that takes ROKT and the sport in general.”
Euan added: “The team is buzzing seeing participation grow from such a young age and that can only be a good thing for the sport. Yorkshire is a climbing heartland and in years to come, it would be amazing to look back and say ‘these gold medalists came from Yorkshire’.”