The Arch Climbing Wall opens third London site creating 20 jobs
A chain of indoor climbing centres with venues across London has opened its third and largest facility in Acton, creating 20 new jobs.
The Arch Climbing Wall has used a £650k funding package from NatWest and Lombard Asset Finance to refurbish the site of the former Art Deco cinema on Acton High Street, transforming it into a state-of-the-art climbing centre.
Following a 14-month programme of works, the listed 20,000 sq ft building now features 8,000 sq ft of custom-built bouldering surfaces across two floors. This includes a competition wall, training area and traverse wall.
Arch Acton also offers introductory lessons, free improver sessions and private coaching; catering for all climbing abilities from beginner to professional.
Graham Chaston, NatWest business development director; Mark Witten, NatWest senior relationship manager; and Shiraz Butt, Lombard senior relationship manager, all worked together to support the deal. Graham said: “The funding we have provided has enabled everything in Arch Acton to be custom-built from the flooring, right down to the individual detail of each climbing hold.
“Fred and his team are hugely passionate about making climbing a fun experience for all and we wish them every success with this new venue.”
Up to 20 jobs will be created following its launch this month and the company is still recruiting for additional trained climbing instructors to join its front-of-house team. Climber, Fred Stone founded The Arch Climbing Wall in February 2008, opening his first climbing wall under the arches of London Bridge, leading to two further venues in Bermondsey and Burnt Oak, replacing the original site.
The Bermondsey and Burnt Oak centres now have more than 100,000 members who have made more than one million visits.
Following the launch of Arch Acton, Fred plans to potentially expand his portfolio of centres further, focusing on unique sites that can be redeveloped into modern bouldering spaces. He said: “With climbing being recognised as a sport for the first time in the 2020 Olympics, demand is increasing and our memberships have grown significantly.
“Following the success of our first two centres, we wanted to create a new space that would capture the excitement and interest in indoor climbing.
“Thanks to the funding from NatWest and Lombard, we have been able to purchase our third site here in Acton and transform it into a state-of-the-art facility like no other in the UK.”