FUNDING has been given towards a new climbing wall that will be a “resource for the community” of Salisbury.

Sarum Academy submitted an application for £5,000 towards the project to Salisbury Area Board. A lower grant of £3,000 was approved.

Gareth Jones, the head of sixth form at Sarum Academy, said: “We are looking to provide climbing facilities not just for the school and its pupils but also open the facilities in the evening and weekends to the local community so the wall is available to all.”

He said funding was being sought from different sources and the school had set aside £12,000. The total cost has been estimated between £37,000 and £45,000. The meeting heard the wall would have 11 roped climbing lines with a bouldering facility to ensure “maximum use of the facilities and space”.

Mr Jones said locally there were “very few” climbing facilities with the closet being Romsey, Wimbourne, Sherbourne and Swindon.

“A local climbing wall is going to provide a destination for visitors and tourists as well as being accessible for the local community,” he added. “Our vision is to make sure this is a resource for the community.”

Councillor Ricky Rogers asked if there could be a concession to ensure children in the Bemerton Heath area were able to use it. He said: “What I don’t want is a facility that is beyond their reach. There are lots of youngsters in Bemerton because of the social deprivation who would love this challenge but it needs to be at a rate they can afford or their parents can afford.”

Mr Jones said there had been discussions with Wiltshire Outdoor Learning.

The board also approved a grant of £4,000 for the Able Hands Together CIC barn. Able Hands Together offers activities for adults with learning difficulties and is an alternative education provider.

A further £1,000 was approved for the River Bourne Island project in conjunction with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Milford Preservation Group to create a better environment for wildlife on and around the island below Milford Mill Road Bridge. And £3,055 was given to Hoodwink Theatre for a senior silent disco with £5,000 to Safer and Supportive Salisbury for a Hidden Figures pilot art project, and £1,257.50 for Community Transport South to replace and upgrade its computer.