Schoolgirl scaling new heights with climbing wall design

Lily Rowland at the climbing wall
Lily Rowland at the climbing wall

YOUNG designer Lily Rowland is the creative talent behind one of the new climbing walls at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre.

The 11-year-old took part in a competition to design one of the walls during her final year at St George’s Central Primary School in Tyldesley.

And she has now visited the site to see the finished treehouse-themed structure standing tall in the adventure zone, which opened at the weekend.

She said: “It looks amazing, I’m really proud to have won the competition and it’s brilliant to see my design turned into the real thing.”

Wigan Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure, Coun Paul Kenny, said: “Lily’s design is absolutely fantastic and has really come to life on the climbing wall. This local leisure centre is so important to local people and the competition was a great way of getting young residents to have a tangible input into the finished look of new facilities.”

In addition to 16 climbing walls, the new adventure zone houses a bespoke skate park also suitable for BMXs and scooters and an adventure play provision offering junior fitness classes and sports sessions to encourage high levels of physical activity.

The wider transformation of the leisure centre has also seen a raft of new facilities introduced including a modern 80-station gym, sauna and steam room, indoor cycling studio, studio for group exercise classes and new changing rooms. A 3G FIFA 2 star pitch has also been built on site.

Pete Burt, managing director of Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, which manages the centre on behalf of Wigan Council, said: “It’s great to see all the new facilities up and running and being well used by customers. There’s a real buzz at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre and I’d encourage residents to come along and see what activities are on offer.”

The redevelopment of Howe Bridge Leisure Centre has been carried out in partnership with Alliance Leisure, ISG, and architects Pozzoni, plus specialist fit out contractors Carve, Hangfast and Play Revolution.

Wigan Council invested £2.4m in to the scheme.