PLANS to build a climbing wall in Ulverston have been given the seal of approval.

Climbing enthusiast and instructor Joe Holden, who was a lawyer before he switched careers, submitted a planning application to South Lakeland District Council to convert the former Lowther Commercials building on Quebec Street.

“I worked as an instructor for eight years before focussing purely on my job,” he said.

“I eventually decided that I wanted to pursue climbing full-time as an instructor and thought Ulverston would be the perfect place to do this.”

Mr Holden said he saw a demand for a climbing wall in Ulverston which would cater for all age groups and abilities.

“We’re planning on setting up a kids group after school every day as well as beginner and intermediate courses," he said.

“Local climbers have got in touch and showed their interest.

“We’re really excited about the plans.”

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses.

Mr Holden said he saw a ‘gap in the market’ for a climbing wall in the Furness area.

“Cumbria is an historic area for rock climbing too so it seems apt to set up a centre here," he said.

"When I lived in Sheffield, we visited the climbing wall every day.

"It was a great social scene and way of working out.”

The council has now rubber-stamped Mr Holden's proposals and the centre is set to open by March of this year.