Tollbar Edge, the organisation which is taking over Lindsey School, Cleethorpes, to turn it into an academy, wrote to the club in May to state that, from this summer, the club would not be permitted to continue its operations at the school.
This decision, which was taken without any discussion or consultation with the club's committee, its members or the wider community, places the club in a difficult situation because there are no other climbing walls situated in the borough of North East Lincolnshire.
While the club operates on a membership basis, it is open to everyone in the community, and by offering the only climbing facilities locally, it is popular with young people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to try their hand at this sport – and, in fact, many members are students of Tollbar College or Lindsey School. As well as offering climbing sessions to participants, club members also have access to free training, organised trips to outdoor crags, and the chance to work towards accredited qualifications in climbing tuition. One previous young member studied for her Climbing Wall Award through the club and has since found employment at an indoor wall elsewhere.
Tollbar's decision to evict the club, rather than to exploit the opportunities presented by its existence, is even more surprising considering the organisation's vision statement, which can be found on its website.
In the very first paragraph of this vision, Tollbar states that:
"The new Academy, in partnership with Tollbar College, would work with both statutory and voluntary local partners, continue to promote extended learning facilities for adults as well as students and would seek to develop further a range of extracurricular activities including sport and performing arts."
The club's committee has written to Tollbar to request a discussion about their plans, but as of today's date (June 4th), Tollbar has not responded. Individual members have also written to Tollbar to express their thoughts on Tollbar's decision.
Others who wish to do the same can do so by writing to:
Mr M J Brown
Tollbar Edge (Cleethorpes Academy)
The climbing facilities in the school, which are attached to one of the end walls of the gym, belong to the club and in the light of Tollbar's intentions, the club is preparing to have them removed at the end of the school summer term.
The club is now seeking a new venue where it can situate its climbing wall and continue its climbing sessions. The committee is currently in talks with other, more accommodating parties.
- News and updates on these discussions will be made available on the club's website