/ NEWS: BMC and Alpine Club, Move To Sheffield?

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Michael Ryan - on 25 Oct 2007
Plans to move the British Mountaineering Council and the Alpine Club (AC) to the same building in Sheffield have been revealed in a House of Commons Early Day Motion. The plan is the most radical shake-up to how climbing is represented in the UK since the formation of the BMC in December 1944. It promises to refocus both organisations and make the Alpine Club's highly regarded library more accessible, but some critics will resent a perceived Peak District bias to British climbing.


Read more, including comment from Dave Turnbull, CEO of the BMC at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
sutty on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

They should move to Leeds if anywhere. Much better rail connections than third world Sheffield and good motorway links.
Tom, UKC News Editor - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> They should move to Leeds if anywhere. Much better rail connections than third world Sheffield

You obviously haven't been to Sheffield recently!
sutty on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:

Only major city I know with cobbled dual carriageways.

Who designed an 'interchange' with buses the other side of a six lane road from the station? The station 'concourse' is as big a joke as the rest of the planning, room for ten cars?
cleanbluesky on 25 Oct 2007 - inet.rcn.org.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Move both into a big plush building in central London, for no apparent reason other than Londoners likes to steal things
dougair on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Not really sure what to make of this. The two organisations fulfil different roles and am not sure co-locating is the answer. The AC is still a club after all, but the resources they have make them unique.
Duncan I on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor:
> (In reply to sutty)
> [...]
>
> You obviously haven't been to Sheffield recently!

I have. It's close to the Eastern Edges. It's a lot further from all the other climbing areas than Manchester is so is less convenient for BMC operatives to get to them and I don't see the point in moving it Sheffield just so they can cosy up with the Alpine Club and allow Sheffield to bask in the glory of being yet another "outdoor capital of the UK". All sounds a bit of a waste of an EDM to me.
Norrie Muir - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Duncan I:
> (In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor)

I don't see the point in moving it Sheffield just so they can cosy up with the Alpine Club and allow Sheffield to bask in the glory of being yet another "outdoor capital of the UK".

You mean the 'Outdoor Reading about it Capital of the UK'
Chris the Tall - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:
The current office is a pain to reach by public transport, but the road links make it reasonably central for the climbing community (well, apart from Scott in Swanage!)

Sheffield is trying to make itself the UK city of sport and wants as many sporting bodies as possible based here for prestige reasons. Whether it's worth the BMC moving depends on how badly Sheffield want them. Maybe Leeds will make a rival bid...
Simon Caldwell - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Didn't the extra quote from Dave Turnbull (which you seem to have deleted) say something to the effective "there are no plans, it's not happening"?
sutty on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Quiet, we have got this thing nicely rolling, sans t.;-)
Chris NIchols on 25 Oct 2007 - post.sheffieldgalleries.org.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Am intrigued by the reference to the Graves Gallery here. As someone who works for Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust, which runs the gallery, it's the first we've heard of it!

I can only assume that, given the on-going challenge of persuading the good burghers of Sheffield to walk up 3 flights of stairs to get to their art, someone has decided that the BMC/AC won't mind the exercise...
Michael on 25 Oct 2007 - 82.152.36.102 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Interesting. I was under the impression that the Alpine Club had left the BMC rather than pay its subscription. (On the grounds that most of the AC are not current climbers and those who are are in other clubs?)
Mike Stretford - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Duncan I: Agreed. I don't think a move for political reasons would go down well with members and climbers.
Bulls Crack - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

"That this House notes the importance of mountaineering to the UK in terms of its status as an elite sport;

Here we go!
kevin stephens - on 25 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Maybe I'm too cynical but to me this seems like a chance for someone to make a lot of money by liquidating two valuable pieces of real estate in London and Didsbury

"further recognises the particular importance of the city of Sheffield to the UK's mountain sports culture given its status as a world-class centre of rock-climbing"

On that basis maybe deiniolin would be a more natural choice?
climbright on 26 Oct 2007 - 82-32-212-174.cable.ubr07.newt.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

So the House was merely being informed that the Manchester Mafia was finally, joining forces with the Sheffield Mafia. You would think the House would have better, more important things to debate.
francoisecall - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: What has an MP got to do with the AC? Isn't it a private club?
alasdair19 on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Michael: not true, you might be getting them confused with the Eagles who have left due to it being a ski mountaineering club where most members have at least 1 BMC insurance payment
Swig - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:

How dare you! Sheffield is about to emerge from under roadworks to be a modern 22nd century city.
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Wibble Wibble - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I'm just wondering why I've heard this on here rather than through the AC.
sutty on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Swig:

Sorry, cannot wait another 100 years for them to finish the works.

I note nobody has defended the 'interchange'. Maybe they should visit Bradford to see how to do it well.
Tom, UKC News Editor - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Duncan I:
> (In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor)
> [...]
>
> I have. It's close to the Eastern Edges. It's a lot further from all the other climbing areas than Manchester is so is less convenient for BMC operatives to get to them and I don't see the point in moving it Sheffield just so they can cosy up with the Alpine Club and allow Sheffield to bask in the glory of being yet another "outdoor capital of the UK". All sounds a bit of a waste of an EDM to me.

So how come half of the BMC's employees seem to prefer to live in Sheffield?!

PeakDJ on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:


As Chris The Tall says, maybe it's worth enough to Sheffield as a city to provide sufficient incentives that it makes it worth the BMC's while to locate here - financially and otherwise. If that is the case, then it is up to other cities to offer similar incentives.

Maybe the staff like the idea of being close to quick drying crags with convenient access - I can understand that.

Yes, I know it;s not close to any of the real mountain crag areas, but does it matter???

Does it really matter to people where they are located, so long as there are reasonable transport links etc, and so long as it makes sense financially for them as an organisation.

Out of interest, how many people here who have said "...they shouldn't locate in Sheffield blah blah" would notice the difference.
Swig - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:

Well it's just a load of bus stops isn't it. It's always been sufficient when I've been there. I'm sure it wouldn't bother those hardened alpine types.

The station's finished anyway - after a long time. It's very good - the old car park is a "water feature".

Graeme Alderson on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor: Do we really want Alex living in Sheffield?
ste_d - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

better than him living in Manc...
Duncan I on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to PeakDJ:

> Out of interest, how many people here who have said "...they shouldn't locate in Sheffield blah blah" would notice the difference.

It's not really a case of which city we all want them to be in - it's a question of which location gives best value for money in terms of BMC operations hence the requirement for good road and rail links with as much of the country as possible to keep travel costs and times down.
The only people who will really notice the difference will be BMC officers trying to get across Snake Pass or Woodhead Pass on their way to Snowdonia or the Lakes and having an extra hour or so added to their journey time.
Geoffrey Michaels on 26 Oct 2007 - 81-6-218-228.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

They should move to where there are some mountains but also make 100% clear that they don't look after the interests of climbers in all of the UK.

Moving in though with another makes sense though to share costs.
Ackbar - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: So what's the deal with this library? Sounds really useful. Can anyone use it? They should move to sheffield because it's where all the cool kids are :-)
PeakDJ on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Duncan I:
> (In reply to PeakDJ)
>
> [...]
>
> It's not really a case of which city we all want them to be in - it's a question of which location gives best value for money in terms of BMC operations

Ermmmm...that was exactly my point...!

Norrie Muir - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Ackbar:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) So what's the deal with this library? Sounds really useful. Can anyone use it? They should move to sheffield because it's where all the cool kids are :-)

Aye, they can look at all the nice pictures.
dougair on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:Still not really sure what the AC has got to do with the BMC. I know the AC struggle with the upkeep of their clubhouse but I hadn't heard anything about a move before this.
Michael Ryan - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to dougair:

Read the news report Doug.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/

The speculative reasons for such a move and collaboration are outlined. But as Dave Turnbull says, there are no plans, although the AC and the BMC have discussed this issue.

I think that the real movers and shakers are not BMC officers, but others within the climbing community who are speculating and wish to see a showcase British Climbing HQ that is not only offices but would incorporate a space for lectures, meetings, exhibitions, libraries, cafe etc and that would re-re-emphasise the role of alpinism in British Climbing.

As regards Angela Smith's early day motion, she did this without the collaboration of the BMC so I have been told. As the news report states EDM's, "drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view."

So it looks like she is highlighting Sheffield's important role in British Climbing as well as BMC's and AC's in the hope that.........?
Chris the Tall - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
"That this House notes <...> that mountaineering, rock-climbing and other mountain-related activities <make> a major contribution to the country's health and fitness agenda"

Regardless of the machinations behind this, it's actually quite reassuring to hear politicians recognising the benefits to society of our sport.

Incidently, the one Sheffield MP who didn't sign the motion (presumably because he's a Lib Dem) is Nick Clegg. According to the Guardian he's a "skiier and mountaineer" - maybe you should try and do an interview with him (although he might be busy for the next few weeks!)
dougair on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:I did skim over it last night before leaving work so probably missed some bits. I'm just wondering if this would mean a fundamental change in the way the AC operates? I haven't heard anything through the AC.
Richard Bradley - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: So some MP wan't to grab a few votes by moving the BMC and Alpinr club into her constituancy? The words feck off spring to mind.
Richard Bradley - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to dougair)
>
> Read the news report Doug.
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
>
>
> I think that the real movers and shakers are not BMC officers, but others within the climbing community who are speculating and wish to see a showcase British Climbing HQ that is not only offices but would incorporate a space for lectures, meetings, exhibitions, libraries, cafe etc and that would re-re-emphasise the role of alpinism in British Climbing.
>
Another chance to try to bankrupt the BMC?
Michael Ryan - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Richard Bradley:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
> Another chance to try to bankrupt the BMC?

As Dave Turnbull said:

"The BMC has an excellent office in Manchester and it would take an exceptional offer or opportunity for us to move.

Any such relocation would clearly require thorough consultation within the BMC. We're interested in talking to people who might be able to help; by pooling resources and with the right level of external support there must surely be the potential to create a great new show piece facility for British climbing."

TRNovice on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Chris the Tall:
>
> Regardless of the machinations behind this, it's actually quite reassuring to hear politicians recognising the benefits to society of our sport.

Just what we need, the bloody Government involved and I have heard so many climbers claim to be so anarchic and anti-establishment!
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Richard Bradley - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I'm sure that similar things were said before the Rheged debacle.
Wibble Wibble - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to TRNovice:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
> Just what we need, the bloody Government involved and I have heard so many climbers claim to be so anarchic and anti-establishment!

Not in the Alpine Club!

sutty on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

>with the right level of external support there must surely be the potential to create a great new show piece facility for British climbing."

More empire building then.
Michael Ryan - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> >with the right level of external support there must surely be the potential to create a great new show piece facility for British climbing."
>
> More empire building then.

Or perhaps making the BMC and Alpine Club more accessible to everyday climbers!

Dave Turnbull, BMC - on 26 Oct 2007
Just to try to clarify a few things:

1. The EDM was a joint intiative of Sheffield MP's Angela Smith and Clive Betts. The BMC knew nothing about it until the day it was tabled. Angela is however now directly linked to the BMC as she recently took over from John Mann MP as our contact under the Parliamentary Sports Fellowship Scheme (a Government initiative aimed at bringing together sports organisations and politicians). As a result of this she has becoem aware of the BMC & AC's discussions about a possible joint venture. MP's are clearly keen to promote their constituencies and thats what they're doing through the EDM. Anything that puts the BMC and climbing on the political map must surely be a good thing.

2. Graves Gallery. I have attended 2 exploratory meetings with Sheffield City Council over the last few months and Graves Gallery has never been mentioned as an option in any way whatsoever. As far as I know - this suggestion is complete speculation.
Norrie Muir - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> As Dave Turnbull said:
>
> "The BMC...........We're interested in talking to people who might be able to help; by pooling resources and with the right level of external support there must surely be the potential to create a great new show piece facility for British climbing."

Is Dave talking to the SMC, so the BMC can put the SMC's archives in this central location?
dougair on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:I would say the AC is already accessible to anyone with the experience required that bothers to find out more about the club. They have regular lectures in London, The Peak and Scotland and Bristol too I think. Its also a fairly active club for those that want to be involved.
Jenny C on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:

> Sorry, cannot wait another 100 years for them to finish the works.

You're optimistic aren't you?
What gets me is the 1-way streets which have changed direction, oh and the fact you follow the new road signs only to find the roads haven't even been built yet!

> I note nobody has defended the 'interchange'......

There will be a good reason for that.....
Personally my biggest gripe is the fact the sheffields "Bus Station" is located off the majority of bus routes. It's embarasing telling visitors arriving in Sheffield by train that "no you can't catch a bus from the 'Bus Station', you will have to walk through the Interchange and into town first".

Fauvé on 26 Oct 2007 - 194.155.12.207 [inetgw-64-pri.nhs.uk]
In reply to Wibble Wibble:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> I'm just wondering why I've heard this on here rather than through the AC.



Same as, haven't heard anything from the AC about this at all until now on here. I spose it all depends on whether you regularly visit either the BMC or the AC as to whether it will affect you.

As for me, its the newsletters, journals and the odd email!
TRNovice on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> Or perhaps making the BMC and Alpine Club more accessible to everyday climbers!

...in Sheffield.

Solaris - on 26 Oct 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> I think that the real movers and shakers are not BMC officers, but others within the climbing community who are speculating and wish to see a showcase British Climbing HQ that is not only offices but would incorporate a space for lectures, meetings, exhibitions, libraries, cafe etc and that would re-re-emphasise the role of alpinism in British Climbing.
>

I wonder whether Ken Wilson might be able to comment?

Up High on 27 Oct 2007
In reply to Dave Turnbull, BMC:
> Just to try to clarify a few things:
>
> 1. The BMC knew nothing about it until the day it was tabled. Angela is however now directly linked to the BMC as she recently took over from John Mann MP as our contact under the Parliamentary Sports Fellowship Scheme.

Anything that puts the BMC and climbing on the political map must surely be a good thing.

Dave,
May I suggest that as a repersentative body for our sport that you put it to this MP, that if she is going to represent us she has the decency to at least notify you when she tables motions that may affect our sport.

As for anything that puts the BMC and climbing on the political agenda is a good thing....... well if they handle our concerns like they handled the pensions etc, Im not so sure. we have survived long enough with out a high political profile, do we need one now!!!



Dave Turnbull, BMC - on 27 Oct 2007
In reply to The shamen:

Fair points.

Good political contacts are certainly important at times however - if we'd had the contacts we have now when we were dealing with the Work at Height Regulations a few years back I'm pretty sure we'd have got that sorted out alot quicker than we did and saved a awful lot of staff time (MLTUK & BMC) in the process.
David A-J on 28 Oct 2007 - 79-66-54-77.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I run several businesses in London. Business property tax - like council tax is incredible, 10 times that of anywhere else & approx £5000 a year per room in central London. So why the Alpine club are in London, who knows! As a climbing publisher, I send our titles to the major libraries, but would be surprised if they every get looked at. It all seems a bit silly. If there was a national climbing library 'for instance,' in the upstairs of the now defunkt Nevisport in Hathersage, anyone could use it on a wet day in the Peak. There are plenty of hotels, B&B,youth hostels and camping, so it would be highly accessable to everyone. The disadvantage, it would be superbly popular and most probably all the good books would get nicked. Therefore Manchester, Sheffield or Hathersage look awful ideas; Wasdale comes out clear winner to preserve the stock of any national climbing library.
francoisecall - on 28 Oct 2007
In reply to David A-J:

There are various angles one could look at the AC location:

- it is originally a gentlemen's club and was started in London, so in the name of tradition should stay put, and even go back to Mayfair.

- given that the activities of its member are "alpine", Chamonix would be a better location than the Peak District. There is already a sizeable British community.

(I would not be surprised if as a charity the AC does not pay a lot of business rates)
David A-J on 29 Oct 2007 - 79-66-54-77.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to francoisecall: In reply to francoisecall: You may well be correct on the ability to get rates relief; but have you seen this new legislation: As announced in the Budget report of 21 March, the Government is changing the empty property relief from business rates by applying the full business rate to properties that have been empty for three months or more – and removing the exemption from industrial and warehouse property so that the full rate will be applied if they have been empty for six months or more. Subject to the necessary legislation being passed by Parliament, these reforms will take effect from 1 April 2008. In otherwords, anyone with spare space and doesn't want to incur high rates - just needs to import a library. I was in the RGS the other day and counted 8 people all day in the Map Room. Even if you took their £100 subs, it still only totals to around 150k, and the 6 staff with building upkeep costs 300k. So that looses the RGS at least 150k a year. It is no mistake why all local authorities want to close libraries - since they are complete money drains.
Ian Jones on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to Swig:
Hm, as somebody once said, ' Sheffield.....it will be OK when it's finished'.
Sheffield is a depressing dump.
The Foundry complex is a disgusting depressing dump.
Relocating the BMC will cost many thousands of tax payers pounds.
Will the relocation make any difference?
What does the BMC achieve?
Will the BMC resolve Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh? (there is no good reason why climbing should not be allowed).
Will the BMC resolve Craig Y Forwen?
Jon Dittman - on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to The Purple Pimpernel:

> What does the BMC achieve?

The BMC has just bought Craig y Longridge - a popular spot amongst locals who provided most of the cash to buy it.
The BMC has stopped the immediate sale of the Wilton quarries, one of the main spots in Lancashire.
The BMC has supported and encouraged local enthusiasts to clean up some various quarries that had until recently been forgotton about.

... and that is just a few of the things the BMC is doing in the NW! Perhaps the BMC needs to improve its publicity?
JonRoger on 30 Oct 2007 - host86-133-192-85.range86-133.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: From a party political and economic perspective such a move makes absolute sense. Where it fails is with the development of an axis of mountaineering power in one place. The real strength of the climbing community lies with its decentralisation (at least in part). With power bases in several parts of the country more voices are heard and demands met. There is no reason to suggest that moving the AC to anywhere would result in more young mountaineers joining up (that was why the ACG came into being all those years ago) which tends to kill off that raison d'etre and as there are more mountaineers in London than in Sheffield, why would a move there make the library more accessible?

This sounds like a politician looking for a sound bite stirring something not well understood (is that not what politicos do?) with no clearly thought out agenda other than a personal one. Dave T is right to look this particular stalking horse in the mouth (if you will forgive the mixed metaphor).
AlisonS - on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to francoisecall:


> (I would not be surprised if as a charity the AC does not pay a lot of business rates)


The AC is not a charity.
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Norrie Muir - on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to The Purple Pimpernel:

> Will the BMC resolve Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh?

No, it is not within the BMC's remit, as anyone with some sense would know.
mooseloose on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to sutty:
I think you've obviously misunderstood the reasons why road and rail connections "from" Leeds are so good.


Move the whole thing to the Marquis of Granby at Bamford. Handy for Sheffield, Manchester (road, rail and bus links). 10 mins from God's own rock. Re-open the bar and you have a great combo.
sutty on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to mooseloose:

What a good idea. Ballroom for lectures, dining room and other rooms for library, rooms upstairs for visitors to stay, kitchens, you my man are a genius.

Get yer wallet out.
Simon - on 30 Oct 2007
In reply to mooseloose:
> (In reply to sutty)
> I think you've obviously misunderstood the reasons why road and rail connections "from" Leeds are so good.
>
>
> Move the whole thing to the Marquis of Granby at Bamford. Handy for Sheffield, Manchester (road, rail and bus links). 10 mins from God's own rock. Re-open the bar and you have a great combo.



Nice garden for a free standing boulder and garage for them that need tabs opposite...

... oh sorry forgot Graeme's left !

;0)
Anonymous on 31 Oct 2007 - 88-107-12-250.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to mooseloose: The Marquis has been bought for housing (or so I'm told)
sutty on 31 Oct 2007
In reply to Anonymous:

Seems about par for the course. there are a lot of flats going up where the Dyneley Arms was near Caley.
Sam L - on 01 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to sutty)
> [...]
>
> Or perhaps making the BMC and Alpine Club more accessible to everyday climbers!

Huh? It would make the AC library more accessable to most people, and the BMC more accessable to people in Sheffield. Just because Sheffield is a popular place for climbers to live does not mean it is the best place to locate the BMC-the most important thing for the BMC is to be as close as possible to all climbing areas-ie north wales, the Lakes, south wales, the peak, yorkshire and the south west-as far as I can see, the BMC does that just fine where is it (as much as that can be done!) and a move is unnessecary. Unless there is a really good reason for them to move, I think an 'attractive offer' is no excuse-needless expense, covered by someone else or not, is still needless expense.
Sam
Dave Turnbull, BMC - on 02 Nov 2007
In reply to sutty:

I spoke to the owner 9-10 months ago. Arranged to meet him but it fell through. Heard later that he's got big and very expensive plans for a hotel/conference centre on the site. I've always felt it'd be a fantastic location but realistically the costs probably rule it out.

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