Climbers now have an Olympic-class bouldering and training arena to thrive in after a new £100,000 facility opened its doors.
Stretching across the top two floors, the Northlight at ROKT has been created in the former Sugden’s flour mill’s colossal loft in Brighouse.
It features what the team at ROKT describe as “next-level bouldering”, featuring 1/4 km2 of curved and acutely angled bouldering walls, slabs, barrels and overhangs using the latest holds and coatings.
With a dramatic rooftop window structure and views across Calderdale, Northlight opened last Saturday and will welcome climbers wanting to train hard and increase their abilities, including everyone from ROKT’s in-house team to GB athletes.
Team GB youth star, Robin Casey, 15, of Hebden Bridge, said: “It’s great to see it finally finished and Northlight means I can really up my training and test myself, which will fit perfectly with my British team coaching. It all means that when I go to comps, I can give myself the best chance of making the top three.
"With the Olympics, including climbing for the first time in 2020, it means every climber can now start to dream about winning an Olympic gold in the future.”
Many of the routes have been set by former Team GB youth star, Luke Murphy, 20, who has now moved into open age competitions.
He said: “It’s been amazing helping shape this place, working on the walls alongside the ROKT team, we’ve set some really cool, challenging, fun routes for people to test themselves on.
"I honestly think elite climbers are going to love this space – not just for the bouldering, but for the fantastic training facilities too on the mezzanine level.”
Euan Noble, ROKT’s managing director, said: “To continue to build our climbing offering, working with every idea emanating from the amazing team, is a dream come true.
"From a desolate, disused flour mill to this in the space of seven years, it’s been an emotional journey. But to see the centre as it stands today is something I, and all the team, are so proud of.
"The team have worked night and day for months and have poured blood, sweat and tears into it. Now, we’re ready to welcome absolutely all climbers of all levels and hope they enjoy what we have built for them.
“We’re now working on plans for yet another addition to ROKT which will be unique to the region.”