I am in the process of trying to build and open a new climbing wall in the local area!
I have lived in High Wycombe my whole life but only started climbing about 6 years ago. The Wycombe wall doesn't quite cut it, especially with the lack of bouldering and training facilities. Amersham is okay but again not huge and Oakwood/Hemel/Big Rock Bond are just slightly too far to 'pop down to' to have a quick bouldering sesh.
Hopefully there are people in the same boat who would like to see another 'bigger' wall within close distance with decent facilities. Location still hasn't been decided but Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Maidenhead or Wycombe (mostly bouldering) seem to be the prime spots. The plan is to big as Big Rock Bond/Oakwood with a bit more rope climbing.
I'm hoping to get some good market research to back up my claims that I already know in my head - there's a niche in the area, enough climbers in the area, climbing is getting bigger year on year and is a no brainer with climbing in the Olympics this year.
I have built a survey and would be most grateful if you could take the time to fill it out. About 3-5 minutes. Also if you had any advice or comments, I would love to hear them.
Not to sound flippant but best advice, dont do your main market research on UKClimbing.
Its nice to have a wall for climbers but its not a solid business plan. Consider things like local student population, new climbers or those not yet partaking in climbing. And then schools / groups that will be likely to fill the centre during Monday- Friday daytime's.
Also road links and public transport as well as size of your car park can be really important.
If its about a profitable business then a well marketed Clip & Climb will continuously bring in cash as will running back to back parties at the weekend.
If you can have a centre big enough to encompass everything in harmony then would be fairly solid all-round.
Routes sound good but take more time and money to regularly reset.
Autobelays i would say are fairly essential in a modern wall.
But as a climber. Im cheap. If its dry in summer i will head outside then moan in winter when the prices have slightly increased to cover the quiet periods.
So again not trying to put you off but think about it paying your bills not a cool place for climbers to occasionally hang out.
Thanks for all the points. I haven't exclusively set my research to UK Climbing, but it's extra research. All your points above have definitely been discussed before and lots to take on board as suggested.
I would love to encompass everything but finding the right area and building is probably the hardest part and will determine what we build I reckon. We're still looking into costs of building our own dedicated building but then costs go up and up. So we'll see.
You made a really good point about over summer and that people will climb outdoors. Where we are, it's at least 2 hours to travel to get to climb somewhere decent outdoors and although will make the journey, it'll usually be weekends. But obviously I'll be taking everything into consideration and the fact that only 1 climbing wall has ever closed in the UK is a positive. But yeah I want to do it properly and have fantastic facilities. Also it'll be a closeby wall for me to train at as well as a lot in the area who have to travel 30-40 mins to their nearest wall, or further for better facilities.
It's also hard asking people too many questions at a climbing wall, when they are there to climb and so are you! But again thanks for your feedback and be assured we are thinking about everything - I just wanted extra piece of mind that there are enough current climbers in the area to kick start things off.
Thanks bud, have been in contact already Might join the club myself too! Exciting times ahead!
> But obviously I'll be taking everything into consideration and the fact that only 1 climbing wall has ever closed in the UK is a positive.
Many have closed. Some have reopened.
Super! Yes, just seen the FB post.
Give us a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org if you're keen on joining. We have members from all over Bucks, Herts and Oxon with outdoor meets monthly and a keen indoor contingent meeting twice weekly.
Might join the club myself too! Exciting times ahead!
Done the survey. As Chairman of the Aylesbury Climbing Club I'd be very interested in chatting over your ideas to see if we can be of any help. Feel free to send me a message via UKC mail.
Great to hear someone is thinking of setting up a wall in Aylesbury. Seems a rather black hole with all the other centres in MK, Bletchly, Amersham & Oxford.
Not sure if there is a demand in AY??
Good to see that other members of the AY climbing club have been touch.
Get yourself along for our next meet Chris. Whenever that may be!
As someone who grew up in good old AY I have several friends that wouldn't know where to start getting into climbing due to its flat nature. I say go for it!! the only issue may be finding somewhere tall enough to make it decent!
Only just saw this. I grew up right outside Aylesbury and first climbed 21 years ago but have never known any local climbers - I used to go to the Climb as a teenager but was sad to see it's no more, now I've ended up back here for a while. Would definitely support this initiative. I fear it may be a tough sell in Aylesbury if larger and better connected places like Wycombe can't support much (but then again, we have the advantage of being further from Reading/ London).
It would be nice to know if I'm not actually the only climber in the village!
In terms of tall buildings - shame I no longer have my pass for County Hall... ;)
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