Aiming to be a space that inspires and motivates people of all ages and abilities to be active and ambitious, the new 1,850m² purpose-built centre in the heart of the borough’s town centre will house an array of climbing facilities that give everyone the chance to safely push their limits, try something new, and most importantly, have a bit of fun while doing it.
Set to be one of the most exciting facilities of its kind in Greater Manchester, Summit Up will be accessible for all the family – from complete novices, right through to seasoned climbers.
Climbing enthusiasts, schools, youth groups, corporate businesses, and more can get involved.
When it comes to the facilities on offer at the new Oldham centre, the star of the show will undoubtedly be the ‘Clip ‘n Climb’ – a “fun climbing” concept that Summit Up wants to bring to the local community.
Designed by Entre-prises UK – the sole supplier of climbing walls for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – the unique Clip ‘n Climb concept is on offer at several outdoor activity centres all across the globe, but the Clip ‘n Climb at Summit Up in Oldham will actually be one of the highest and largest in the UK.
This means that visitors will be able to experience world-class walls as climbed by some of the best competitive climbers on earth.
Clip ‘n Climb Oldham will feature 25 challenges, including the adrenaline-pumping ‘Leap of Faith’, the popular ‘Stairway to Heaven’, and a thrilling 10-metre ‘Vertical Drop Slide’, as well as two ValoClimb walls – which use world-first interactive gaming technology and are designed to boost fitness while offering a challenging alternative to traditional climbing.
Summit Up arrives in Oldham ready to capture the excitement and enthusiasm that’s in the air after Sport Climbing was featured in the Olympic Games for the first time ever at Tokyo 2020, with all three Olympic disciplines of lead climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing on offer at the new centre.
It will be the only centre in Greater Manchester with an official speed climbing facility too.
And if all of that wasn’t as exciting enough as it is, the centre will also have a soft play area, dedicated party rooms, retail merchandise, and a ‘South Ridge’ cafe to stop off at for some well-deserved refreshments after a day of climbing.
Summit Up’s arrival in Oldham wouldn’t be possible without the help of The Stoller Charitable Trust – which is funding the building of the centre to “leave a lasting legacy” for the next generation of the Oldham community.
Oldham-born businessman Sir Norman Stoller founded the Trust in the 1980’s, and has since gone on to donate millions of pounds to worthy causes – particularly supporting disadvantaged children from the Oldham area.
“Climbing is very popular at present and we expect to attract up to 90,000 visitors a year,” explained Stephen Lowe, Manager of The Stoller Charitable Trust.
“The centre will be a huge boost to the area as all of the profits generated will be used for charitable causes that support the young people of Oldham.
“The purpose [of the Trust] has been to provide opportunities to raise aspirations, support Oldham’s young people to reach the height of their ability, and provide a helping hand when it is most needed.”
He added: “It is our hope that Summit Up will connect the community and create a lasting social venue in Oldham.”
Summit Up is opening to the public on Saturday 18 September 2021.
The booking system is now live, so if you fancy being one of the first to experience Oldham’s new climbing centre and all it has to offer, head on over to the Summit Up website here to secure your slot.
Rio Ferdinand is helping change young lives with community programmes in Oldham and Salford
Ex-Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and his foundation’s wonderful work is helping better the lives of young people in Oldham, Salford and across Manchester as a whole.
Over the past year, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and The Guinness Partnership have been putting together a vital social initiative aimed at providing opportunities and resources to young people across Greater Manchester, helping them develop their skills and aspirations for future working life.
Now, after a hugely successful 12-month campaign, their skills and progression community programme, participants are well and truly starting to feel the impact, with 90% of those taking part now stating that they are enjoying a clear idea and focus on what they want to do for a career.
It may have be thriving in Salford and Oldham at the moment, but given the benefit the scheme has already had — not to mention the ambition the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has shown around various areas of the UK since being set up in 2012 — we can only see this spreading further across the region.
The skills-based initiative engages young people aged under 25 years old and living in Guinness homes in a six-month skills-based programme which has been up and running in the two Manc boroughs, as well as the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, since March 2022.
Young people from both Oldham and Salford take part in a weekly schedule of activities designed to tackle youth unemployment, including digital media training (photography, product design, filmmaking, podcasting), building and construction, CV workshops, mock interviews and more.
Not only do these shadowing opportunities garner confidence and raise aspirations among other young people in the local community, but they also help directly develop their employability skills via mentoring.
For instance, Matthew, 19 from Royton in Oldham, completed the programme and then was supported to apply to the Guinness Aspire Awards to request funding to purchase camera and lighting equipment to help him start a small local photography business. Quality stuff.
Matt says that the scheme “has been an amazing opportunity and has given [him] a chance to get back on the right path… I know what I want to do now and can’t wait to start… I would recommend that other people in my position get involved with it in the future.”
As well as markedly increasing participants health and well-being, all 100% of those involved across Salford and Oldham reported feeling more confident, with many now enjoying opportunities with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s partners such as Warner Music, Kiss FM, The Jockey Club and the Gym Group.
Speaking on the programme’s success, Rio himself said in a statement: “The Foundation is committed to working with young people at the heart of their communities to offer support, training, and opportunities to those that need it… engaging with the Guinness Partnership has provided a great boost to our reach and our work”.
Well in, Rio. Thankfully, he isn’t the only ex-Manchester-based footballer still trying to make a difference in the local community either:
King Charles III acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, and on the day of his Coronation, will be 74 years old – making him the oldest person to be crowned monarch in British history.
The King will be coronated alongside his wife and the Queen Consort, Camilla, in a religious ceremony held at Westminster Abbey in London – which is the same place his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II‘s Coronation was held in 1953, as was her State Funeral in September of last year.
The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and is expected to be a more “simmered down” event in comparison to that of the late Queen’s Coronation.
Buckingham Palace said the Coronation will “reflect the monarch’s role today” and will “look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry” – with more details about the ceremony and celebrations on a national scale expected to be announced “in due course”.
But, on a more personal scale locally, Manchester City Council has just announced that residents in the borough can apply to close their road off so they can throw a street party.
The Council says it want residents from all over the city to “dust off the bunting and join their neighbours to celebrate the historic weekend” by hosting a traditional street party, and for those wishing to do so, if you make sure to submit an application by a certain deadline, then the road closure fee will be waived.
On top of this, Oldham Council has also announced that it applications are open for residents to apply for £100 grants to be put towards community street parties.
100 grants are available being awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Other Greater Manchester boroughs are also expected to announce celebration plans in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.