Elgin’s Spireoxx Centre at South Church to close in February

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JUST THREE YEARS after opening to massive acclaim it has been revealed that the 30-foot climbing wall in Elgin is to be closed next month.

The conversion of the Elgin South Church into the Spireoxx Centre was the result of a 18-month long challenge met head-on by Jo Maunder, who invested £250,000 in converting the Moray Street church.

When it opened in July 2015, the centre was hailed as a magnet for young people in particular – and the climbing wall itself was certainly highly popular. However, a notice posted on the Spireoxx social media page has revealed that the dream has come to an end for Jo Maunder.

Speaking for the centre Steven McIntosh said that the decision came after the Centre was failing to break even and owner Jo Maunder had a major change in her own circumstances.

He said: “Jo’s aim was always to keep it going so long as it was breaking even, but now her personal circumstances have changed. Her parents live in Yorkshire and there are health issues, so she has been away a lot.”

Ms Maunder originally planned to create a nursery in the former church, but eventually opted for the activity centre which included the climbing wall, play area and café.

Hope is being held out for a future re-opening in the closure notice on Facebook, with the team working at the centre hopeful that a solution can be found after closure on February 9. It said: “The team will continue to be the team, just in different jobs. We will be using other walls to gather and blether – and you never know what the future holds.”

Mr McIntosh added that no decision had been made on if the business would be sold as a going concern or if the entire building would be sold – but with indoor climbing soon to be a part of the Olympic Games there were clear signs the sport would grow.