New lease of life for Adur Outdoor Activity Centre

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HOPES are high that the Adur Outdoor Activities Centre could be open again by the spring.

The centre, in Brighton Road, Shoreham, attracts people from across the area.

It was closed late last month, with the trust that ran it saying it was no longer financially viable to keep the venue open.

But this week, West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith announced that a number of parties had expressed interest in taking on the facilities.

She said: “We understand how important community facilities at the centre are for residents. There will be a prerequisite that leisure, youth and community facilities continue at the site.

“The aim is to have a replacement tenant in place by next spring.”

A public consultation is being planned for the new year, with residents being asked about what should be provided at the centre once it is up and running again.

Youngsters from Our Lady of Sion School, in Worthing, are just some of those who used the centre regularly, and were left devastated by the centre’s closure.

Nine-year-old pupil Flora Burleigh said she had been attending wall-climbing sessions with her friends for six months.

She said: “I strongly believe that it should stay open. The staff at the centre are fantastic – so much better than any other place.

“There are these brilliant instructors who have a real passion for climbing and have climbed incredible mountain faces all around the world.

“I have made some really nice friends here and so has my mother. This great place has given me a new favourite hobby. I’m really happy that it might reopen. We have all worked really hard there.

“I would also like to do cycling there some time.”

Nez Webb, an instructor at the climbing club for the past three years, said: “It was gutting when I heard about the centre. I just cried for 
two weeks.

“I love the kids so much and know how much they get from it.

“But it’s really exciting now, it just makes me feel good. I know a lot of the children will go back there. It’s a like a family.”

Flora’s friend Mia Sukumaran, ten, added: “All the staff at the centre are devoted to climbing and teaching us.

“It must stay open because it is so good, there is nowhere else for us to train and teachers like Nez are fantastic.”

The county council has agreed to take possession of the building and a meeting is to be held next week. A security firm will ensure the building is protected while 
it is vacant.

The Shoreham Sailing Club and Shoreham Canoe Club both use the centre’s compound to store equipment.

The equipment will be allowed to remain stored at the location throughout the closure.

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