Awesome Walls Sheffield is the first climbing wall in England & Wales to be designated as a National Performance Centre, and is due to open in late September.
The BMC established the National Performance Centre (NPC) designation in 2012 to encourage the development of climbing walls capable of running national and international competitions.
NPCs can be dedicated lead walls or dedicated bouldering walls or a combination. Awesome Walls Sheffield will offer both lead climbing and bouldering, but it is the main competition lead wall that has enabled the centre to meet the criteria for NPC designation.
The main wall has been designed with competitions and spectators in mind. There is no other wall in England that matches the main wall for height and steepness, being 15 metres in height, overhanging by 12.5 metres and 23 metres in length. It's planned to always keep this area set with hard routes. On the steepest section the grades range will be from 7a+ to 9a. The competition area also includes a 'speed wall'.
NPCs will be flagship facilities in British climbing and operators will work closely with the BMC and the GB Climbing Team to run the facility not only as a successful climbing centre but also as a high standard competition climbing venue. NPCs will also have an important role in providing training facilities for GB Team members and top-end climbers.
Dave Douglas, Managing Director of Awesome Walls said: "I feel proud and honoured to be able to operate the first National Performance Centre and I will endeavour to help the BMC and its values in any way feasibly possible."
The BMC welcomes applications from climbing wall facilities that wish to be considered for NPC designation. The application process is open to any facility in England or Wales, and there is no limit on the number of NPCs that could exist. Facilities must be located in areas with a high population of climbers and well-situated for running major events, with good access to major transport links and public transport services, and with sufficient car parking and facility capacity to cater for major competition events involving large numbers of competitors, volunteers and spectators.
View the eligibility criteria for National Performance Centre designation
Awesome Walls Sheffield will be the fifth member of the Awesome Walls family, following in the footsteps of Liverpool, Stockport, Stoke-on-Trent and Dublin. For more information, visit the Awesome Walls website
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