ROF 59 founder John Finley
ROF 59 founder John Finley
Richard Bell

Zip line attraction with ‘unique’ bus landing pad opens in County Durham

A new 200m zip line has opened for thrill-seekers in County Durham.

The attraction, located in Newton Aycliffe, allows those brave enough to leap from a 19m platform before racing through the sky at 35mph and coming to a stop on an old double-decker bus.

It opened this month at the ROF 59 activity centre, which wanted to create “something completely different” for visitors, according to founder John Finley.

John explained: “We’ve had the land for a lot of years, and I had the idea when we first launched ROF 59 nearly three years ago.

“We were granted planning permission for it two years ago so it has been a work in progress, but we’ve tinkered with it because we wanted to get it absolutely spot on.”

Of the decision to have users land on a double-decker bus, he said: “We needed a landing area to be at least five metres up from ground level, and we acquired an old London-style open-top bus, so we secured it into place and renovated it to create a bespoke landing pad. It really is quite unique.”

The zip line’s landing pad

Leisure industry manufacturer Entre-Prises, based in Lancashire, was tasked with installing the zip line.

It is one of a number of attractions introduced at the 70,000 sq ft centre over the last 12 months. Earlier this year, ROF 59 created a new drop-zone where participants can throw themselves off a 19m platform and land safely thanks to a harness and freefall auto belay.

The company also invested £350k last year to expand and re-launch its climbing area.

ROF 59 was established in 2015 with a £1.1m investment that transformed the old Presswork Metals building and former Second World War munitions factory into an entertainment and leisure venue.

Speaking further, founder John said: “We’re always trying to come up with new and exciting ideas different from anything in the area and we think this is a genuine first for the North East.

“But it won’t stop here. I’m already thinking of my next new and exciting activity, so watch this space.”

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