Plans to build indoor climbing centre in Cheltenham
DAD Dean Cox is reaching for new heights with his plans to open a new climbing centre.
The 50-year-old has launched a fundraising campaign to open Gloucestershire's biggest rock climbing centre.
Having set up the Sunderland Wall in the north east of England in 2003, the avid climber now wants to repeat its success in Gloucestershire.
Dean is seeking sponsorship to fund the wall in the Cheltenham area.
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The former University of Gloucestershire student wants "to meet demand" as he says people of all ages don't really have anywhere "big enough" to put their skills to the test.
Dean said: "There are plenty of climbing walls all across the country, but not many in Gloucestershire, especially here in Cheltenham.
"There is a definite need with quite a few people having already expressed interest in having a bouldering centre."
Dean has expressed an interest in a site at Kingsditch Industrial Estate, on Malmesbury Road.
The centre, which aims to rival his previous conquest at Sunderland Wall, will cost around £50,000 to build.
He set up Sunderland Wall in the Pallion area of Tyne and Wear about 10 years ago, with 32 lines and more than 140 routes on the wall.
It has a number of six metre, 10 metre, 16 metre and the record-breaking 23 metre wall.
Dean, who has been climbing since he was 13, hopes he can encourage more young people to get involved.
The father from Gloucester, who has three children, says climbing is something anyone from "three to 103 can pick up".
He said: "My children love it, and I want to work with youth groups and just try and get them into climbing."
Dean studied in Cheltenham in the 1980s, and climbed in places around the area like Cleeve Hill.
He added: "More than 40,000 people come through the doors at Sunderland Wall, and I'm hoping for a similar amount.
"Absolutely anyone can climb.
"Walk past any playground and you'll see a bunch of kids clambering happily over anything they can get their hands and feet on.
"Climbing is something we've always done and always will do. It's as natural as breathing."
It's early days for the climbing centre but Dean is determined to turn his plans into reality.
Anyone interested in helping Dean with his climbing centre campaign or making a donation, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.