WORK ON CREATING a new £250,000 climbing activity centre in the heart of Elgin finally draws to a close this weekend when it formally opens its doors.
After laying empty for 16 years the Elgin South Church on Moray Street has been converted to become the Spireroxx Centre – complete with a challenging 30-foot climbing wall.
The new centre also boasts a children’s climbing area, showers, changing rooms and a café that will be open to the general public. Behind the creation of the new facility, which opens its doors for the first time on Saturday, is Jo Maunder.
The Mosstowie resident admitted that the last 18 months have been the most challenging of her life: “It has taken a lot out of me – but I love the church to bits, now it is exciting if a little bit scary that we have got there.”
Much of the original features of the church have been retained and mixed with the new rock climbing facilities – with Jo saying that the end result was “quite quirky”. She had purchased the former Church of Scotland building in 2006 with the original intent of turning it into a nursery.
That plan fell through however – prompting the change of direction that is now the Spireroxx Centre. Opening for the first time at 10am on Saturday, the regular hours for the centre will be 10am to 10pm from Monday to Friday and 10am to 8pm at weekends.
Jo said: “The cost will be £7.95 for a two hour session on the main wall and £6.95 for concessions – proof of the concessions will be required.
“The kids area will be £4.95 for 1 hour. Helmets/shoes and harnesses are available to hire at £4 for all or £2 each as individual items.”
Interest in the centre is expected to be high and those wishing to use the facilities are advised to book one-hour taster sessions in advance by calling 01343 542666. Jo said: “If you have experience you will be assessed by one of the instructors – and if competent you will be able to climb freely within the conditions of use and by signing a disclaimer which is available on the day.”