A climbing centre is investing in new walls and equipment to help maintain social distancing thanks to a Covid-19 scheme launched by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Clip ‘n’ Climb in Ipswich will re-establish itself as the largest centre of its kind in the world, offering 46 climbing lines when it reopens after lockdown.
Open for just nine months when the pandemic struck, the business run by friends Mark Patterson and Josh Davey has been awarded £27,000 through the Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme.
This initiative, established by the LEP in response to Covid-19, provides grants to support short-term business resilience and longer-term recovery and diversification projects.
Current social distancing guidelines mean the company would have to reduce the number of climbers it could accommodate, and this would have a significant impact on its turnover.
To mitigate this risk, the UK’s only purpose-built climbing facility is investing in new equipment that will increase capacity and allow it to operate within the rules when it reopens later this summer.
An ascendor climbing wall is a two-sided challenge suitable for all abilities, while its Totem climbing wall will be for ‘the thrill-seeker who loves the adrenaline rush, but not too challenging that a novice could join in the fun’. The new caving ladder will be a rope ladder which attaches from the ceiling to the floor and can be used by anyone.
Mark Patterson said: “This grant is massive for us. In the short term, it means we can open with a bang rather than a whimper and we can safely welcome a lot more climbers.
“In the longer term, it’s a game-changer. By taking Clip ‘n’ Climb to 46 lines, we will be recognised as the largest climbing centre of its kind in the world, which puts us in a hugely advantageous position.
“We will appeal to a larger market, with options for everyone from the beginner to the advanced climber and give our repeat climbers exciting new experiences.”
To find out more about the Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme, click here