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MP is climbing walls - literally - for vertical reopening success

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner may hope to scale the heights politically, but he took things to the next level when he visited Rainbow Rocket, the city only dedicated bouldering wall, which has been given the green light to reopen after the Covid shutdown.

Jeremy Leong is an intrepid climbing enthusiast who has climbed mountains in Australia, Italy and Fontainebleau but says that the coronavirus pandemic was the biggest challenge he has faced since opening in 2018.

The Clifton Road-based climbing centre, named after a challenging climb in Fontainebleau, went from 7,000 visits a month to zero. Mr Zeichner raised some of the business’s concerns in a speech in the Commons. Like most businesses, Rainbow Rocket was between a rock and a hard place as it struggled to reopen and abide by new safety regulations.

But challenges are there to be scaled, as Mr Zeichner found out when he met Jeremy, who explained the new safety measures Rainbow Rocket has put in place before the MP climbed the 4.5metre climbing wall.

Mr Zeichner said of the visit to Rainbow Rocket: “It is an apposite name – rainbows for our amazing NHS and getting a rocket under Cambridge’s economy again!

“Fitness facilities are crucial to the physical and mental health of our community so I’m delighted to see Rainbow Rocket reopen and thank you to Jeremy for the suggestion I should have a go on the wall too. It was surprisingly fun and as a complete beginner I got higher than I thought I would.

“Jeremy’s business has really suffered under lockdown and his is one that’s fallen through the net for much government support, something I raised in the Commons. Of course un-locking can never be risk-free but it fills me with hope when I see businesses re-opening their doors, especially ones that help you keep fit.

“But there are worrying signs from the continentof a second wave which is why the government getting the test, track and trace programme fully functional is so important. The government are being painfully slow on that but it’s key to saving lives and livelihoods.”

Daniel Zeichner MP at Rainbow Rocket with owner Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell
Daniel Zeichner MP at Rainbow Rocket with owner Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

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