Climbing Centre

The Arc is Open! 1024 512 Westmead

The Arc is Open!

It’s fantastic to be able to report that The Arc is now open. We are delighted that after all the planning and hard work that this exciting new attraction for Chippenham can finally start to be enjoyed by the local community.

Please visit the The Climbing Academy website to find out more and read all the latest information including: –

The Arc Cafe is open to all visitors – even non-climbers. TCA hope that the cafe will become a community hub for Chippenham where visitors will feel comfortable enjoying a drink, snack or a meal.

The Arc skatepark is a free unsupervised facility. Users skate there at their own risk. General opening hours are from Mon-Sun: 9am – sunset (subject to variations). The Wiltshire Council Planning Committee mandated that the skatepark will not be open before 8am, after 8pm or after dark (which will be much earlier at certain times of year). Access will be in line with the climbing centre opening times. If the centre’s opening times vary, for any reason, this will affect access to the skatepark.

*Please note this information was correct at the point of publishing this blog post – check the TCA website for the most up to date info. 

The brilliant team at TCA has been working really hard to get the centre open. Please be patient and show them your support in these early days when everyone is learning the ropes. Excuse the pun.

We hope you will enjoy and show your support for this fantastic new facility.

So what involvement does Chippenham Borough Lands Charity now have with The Arc?

The land that The Arc (climbing centre and skatepark) has been built on belongs to our charity. We have built the climbing centre, with support of a £100,000 grant from Sport England.  Wiltshire Council gave a grant of £200,000 to our charity to build the skatepark element of the site and provide this community facility in Chippenham. The Arc skatepark belongs to Chippenham Borough Lands Charity. We own and are responsible for running it.

We have leased the running of The Arc to The Climbing Academy. This includes responsibility for daily health and safety checks of the skatepark and closing the site in accordance with the planning permissions of the build and weather restriction guidelines for skateparks. The skatepark opening times will therefore be in line with The Arc climbing centre opening times set by The Climbing Academy. The skatepark cannot be used in wet, icy or snowy weather and will be closed in these inclement weather conditions.

The Wiltshire Council Planning Committee mandate also included closure of the park when dark and ‘no later than 8pm’ which will also affect the opening times at different points in the year. We were hoping to be able to have the skatepark floodlit to increase the opening hours however this was not possible due to ecology considerations in the skatepark area. The skatepark is a ‘managed facility’ but an unsupervised park which all people use at their own risk.

Please contact The Climbing Academy directly for any questions relating to the climbing centre opening times, courses and information related to the running of The Arc, including courses and membership.

Telephone: 01249 471182
Meet the Engineers behind Westmead Activity Centre 1024 512 Westmead

Meet the Engineers behind Westmead Activity Centre

We are continuing our series of short videos with some of the key members of the team behind the Westmead Climbing Centre.

Next up are our engineers. Meet Peter Gates, Ralph Pelly and Konstantin Prochorenko, the project team at Giraffe Engineering undertaking the structural design for the project.

Thanks Peter, Ralph and Konstantin for all your hard work so far. You can view our Meet the Architect video here.

Meet the Architect behind Westmead Activity Centre 1024 512 Westmead

Meet the Architect behind Westmead Activity Centre

We are starting a series of short videos with some of the key members of the team behind the Westmead Climbing Centre. First up is Rob Elkins of Elkins Architects, Chippenham. Rob has been the lead architect working on the project from the very beginning…

Thanks Rob for all your hard work so far!

#Meettheteam #WestmeadActivityCentre

Climbing Centre update – confirmed partners, a NEW NAME & employment opportunities! 1024 512 Westmead

Climbing Centre update – confirmed partners, a NEW NAME & employment opportunities!

It is with great delight that we would like to formally announce that The Climbing Academy (TCA) will be running our new climbing centre in Chippenham. TCA is an exceptional operator of climbing centres with 4 walls in Bristol and Glasgow, offering the very best bouldering and roped climbing facilities and courses for climbers of all abilities.

TCA has advised and worked with the design team on the climbing centre aspect of the project and will be running the whole centre, including management of the café and skate park.

We would also like to jointly announce that the winner of the TCA competition to name the new climbing centre is Karen Jones, with her entry – The Arc. Karen took inspiration from the location, noting that Arc came from Avon River climbing.

Photo features from L to R – Nina Gizzie (TCA Operations Manager), Sam Mitchell (TCA Chief Instructor), Karen Jones (competition winner) and Geraldine McKibben (Trustee for Chippenham Borough Lands Charity)

The Arc is due to open in Spring 2022 and will be the fifth climbing centre run by TCA and its 3rd based in South West England.

Helen Cassidy, TCA Marketing Manager, said,

“With almost 200 entries to the competition from local residents, schools and climbers from further afield, the judging process was extremely difficult. The standard of entries was very high with so many creative, thoughtful and clever ideas. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter. We are very excited to be able to offer great climbing opportunities in Chippenham and to get to know new climbers from the local area.”

Phil Tansley, CEO, Chippenham Borough Lands Charity said,

“It is with great pleasure that we can confirm that The Climbing Academy will be running our new climbing centre, café and managing the skate park. We are delighted that it’s a Chippenham resident who has won the competition and look forward to the centre opening early next year.”

Finally, TCA has some very exciting employment opportunities available – including jobs at The Arc in Chippenham.

They are looking for new staff to work in roles such as Operations Managers, a Head Setter, Instructing Managers, a Cafe Manager and Senior Duty Managers. If you’re interested in working for an expanding company within the climbing wall industry check out the TCA website – https://www.theclimbingacademy.com/careers.

 

 

Construction work climbing upwards! 1024 512 Westmead

Construction work climbing upwards!

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks at the Westmead Activity Centre site as the climbing centre has really started to take shape and rise from the ground. A big milestone moment was reached over a week ago as concrete was poured onto the elevated slab…

This past week has seen the steel frame sections being craned into position bringing a real glimpse of the shape and structure of the new climbing centre.

 

And finally the site also hosted one of its very first VIP visits. Elliott, aged 8, greatly enjoyed his special tour round the site with site manager, Dave, earlier this week.

There was a massive ramp onto the building and the crane was huge, it lifted things really high. I can’t wait to see it lift the big bits. The bolts are really big to hold it together. This is so exciting, it’s going to be great – I’m so pleased this is being built.

Win membership to the new Climbing Centre! 1024 640 Westmead

Win membership to the new Climbing Centre!

An exciting new competition has been launched to name the climbing centre aspect of the new Westmead Activity Centre with fantastic prizes available for the winning entry.

Whilst we are funding the building of the new facility, our intended partner to run the whole activity centre is The Climbing Academy (TCA). TCA is an experienced climbing centre operator with four bouldering and roped climbing centres in Bristol and Glasgow, offering the very best bouldering and roped climbing facilities and courses for climbers of all abilities.

TCA has launched a brilliant new competition to name the new climbing centre. TCA are keen to reflect the local area and history in the title. The winner will receive an invitation to an exclusive opening event and the chance to be one of the first people to climb there. You’ll also get to choose from a 12-month pass for an individual, a 6-month pass for you and a friend/partner, a 6-month family pass or a session for a winning class entry from a local school.

We’ve been excited about this project since we first started discussing it with CBLC almost 2 years ago.  The climbing centre will be one of the first ‘ground up’ builds in the UK and is a real testament to the vision of CBLC and their desire to provide something really special for Chippenham.  TCA is looking forward to providing great climbing for experienced climbers but are really excited to introduce beginners to what is a great form of sociable exercise.  We can’t wait to get open and to start welcoming the people of Chippenham.

Richard Emerson, Director of TCA

 

Read more about the competition including how to enter here. Good luck!