Picture this: youngsters inspired by Norwich climbing centre idea

They are pictures to make a parent proud and would usually be stuck to the fridge.

But sketches from a group of keen young climbers have landed on the desk of planners at City Hall – urging them to approve proposals for Norwich's first dedicated indoor climbing centre.

Neighbours Mike Surtees and Philip Mortimer, of Marlborough Road, Norwich, are hoping to develop a climbing wall, an osteopathy clinic and yoga room in a derelict industrial unit.

A 233-signature petition has been collected to show support for the centre, which will specialise in a form of rock climbing involving lower heights and no ropes, known as bouldering.

But the �100,000 project proposed for Twickenham Road, Catton Grove, has now attracted colourful and artistic support.


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Jenna Williams, four, and Josh Williams, seven, of Little Plumstead, sent pictures to Norwich City Council which show them enjoying climbing with their family. Dad Scott, 35, said he was hoping the centre would get the go-ahead and had been impressed by a similar idea in Newcastle.

He said: 'You turn up, you need a pair of shoes, chalk and away you go. You have a qualified instructor there and it's something where you get there and have a go. I don't want my children growing up in a world of playing Xbox all the time. I want them doing things. It's not going to be a massively expensive pastime to do. Mike spoke to my wife about the drawings and Josh and Jenna jumped at the chance, got the paper out and did the drawings.

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'It would be nice to see a new idea in Norwich.' Eight-year-old Lauren Dorman also drew herself and her dad climbing, next to photographs of her enjoying her hobby. She also told planners at City Hall: 'I think that building a climbing centre is a very brilliant idea because we have a climbing wall in our back garden but it's a bit small! It will be really exciting if you make it possible for the big climbing centre to be built.'

Emily Dorman, five, sketched herself next to a wall, with a plea of: 'Please say yes!'

Mr Surtees said: 'We hope to hear from the council sooner rather than later but with it being planning you never know how long it will take.

'We are moving forward behind the scenes with business costings and we are waiting for the decision.'

What do you think of the climbing centre proposal? Call reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email as below.

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