We got there! We started the build back in February and like an episode of Grand Designs, we ticked off new a born baby arrival, illness, bad weather, over ambitious plan and unrealistic budget. We have however never doubted this was the right plan for this location, it's an awkward narrow strip in a flood zone, but already had planning in place as adventure centre. It was formerly the 'Arches Adventure base' but has been closed for many years. We got the lease last July (2022), started the build in February this year and completed in July. The site was a famous Graffiti spot in the 90's and 2000's and some of those original artists have been back here to create new pieces as a nod to it's history (one of those artists even designed our logo).
Our plan is to open everyday long hours throughout the summer and have a winter pop up days depending on conditions. We can whip up large waterproof shade sails to cover 80% of the real rock structures to extend the season. We've got great coffee here and will eventually be doing food in a mobile trailer by the riverside.
We're introducing the Griptonite app here and the Boulder structures will be tweaked and perfected over many years. If you want to submit a crag chip recommendation we can carve and alter to improve, so this place will just get better. We want to make it as democratic as possible, so feedback welcomed. We did get some initial grief that because we'd previously built kid's climbing walls it would be too easy! If anything we've gone the other way and our rock structure is very challenging. Where it is too hard, we can quickly add a jug hold here and there.. Each additional hold combined with the features opens up countless routes to be created.
You can bring a paddle board/ canoe/ kayak and launch from here too as we have the best slipway on the river Trent (as a former boat builders 100 years ago).
Feedback has been great so far! We opened last Saturday and we've already had return visits.
The key to the success of this place is the mini festival events we'll run here with live music and street food. The location is incredible, with riverside views and tucked under Lady Bay Bridge (built in 1889).
Next we plan to build a low ropes course, convert a bridge arch room into a curved ceiling Bouldering room. The profits will all be reinvested in the site.
The floor is all Rubber, it looks exactly like slate ! It's recycled fireproof car mats, then an additional base of recycled rubber under that. In addition we provide Free crash mats to borrow too. Hoping for some warm dry weather next week !
We've just added Griptonite to the venue and are steadily adding more routes. We've been open a week now and had some great feedback. Work will never stop here! Plans for a bouldering cave under the bridge arch next.