Million-pound-funding helps climbing centre operator reach new heights in Milton Keynes

Climb Quest described as a climbing centre meets theme park, has opened its doors in Milton Keynes, creating more than 40 jobs.

Climb Quest’s operators have used a £1.2 million funding package from Natwest and Lombard Asset Finance to help renovate a 4,000 sq ft unit in the Kingston Centre, transforming it into a unique climbing attraction.

The centre features 25 individual climbing walls, all with non-traditional climbing holds and offering different challenges. There are also two Extreme Challenges: The Vertical Drop Slide, where participants are winched to the top before letting go to experience an eight-metre drop, and the Stairway to Heaven, a set of 13 poles which gradually increase in height.

Overlooking the climbing walls is a café on a glass-fronted mezzanine area, catering for climbers, spectators and birthday parties. The centre also offers Autism friendly and SEND sessions and exclusive hire for groups such as home-educators, schools, youth groups and corporates.

Owners, husband and wife Chris and Beth Walthew, opened their first climbing centre, Clip ‘n Climb Cambridge, in 2016. Over the last three years, the centre has welcomed 50,000 climbers annually and they hope to replicate this success in Milton Keynes. The couple will oversee both sites supported by management teams. The opening of the new centre has created six full-time and 35 part-time jobs.

Beth Walthew said: “We’ve been thrilled with how popular our centre in Cambridge has become and hope that Climb Quest will prove equally so with children and adults of all ages in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

“Once Climb Quest is established in Milton Keynes, we will look at expanding our portfolio of centres further afield, bringing a family-friendly and unique climbing experience to other UK towns and cities. We look forward to welcoming customers to our new centre; whether they are nervous first-timers or experienced climbers, we cater for everyone.

Sandra O’Neill, NatWest Relationship Manager, said: “We supported Chris and Beth with the opening of their first site in Cambridge and given its continued popularity, we were keen to help them open a second site. We wish the team every success with the launch of the Milton Keynes centre and hope to continue to support them with future expansion.”

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