Family-run climbing centre left hanging during pandemic
- Credit: Clip 'N Climb
A popular family-run attraction in the centre of Weston is at risk of closure as it reveals it has been 'left in limbo' throughout the pandemic.
The owner of Clip N Climb, a climbing centre in Dolphin Square, revealed that the business is unable to provide a plan for its workers as the changing tier systems have scarpered previous ones.
Nick Mussell said: "Sadly, it is not worth planning when I have to comb over Government guidelines every two weeks to see if we can operate or not.
"My staff have been amazing, at the beginning of the pandemic I told them I could not guarantee hours and if they find other jobs feel free to leave - but many have stayed because they love the atmosphere."
At the beginning of March, Clip N Climb was booked out until September. After the Covid-19 outbreak, most of these bookings were refunded - costing the business tens of thousands of pounds.
"The amount of money we lost in that 48 hour period was eye-watering. It was enough to make me want to vomit."
The family-run business reopened on July 25 with measures in place to ensure the safety of its customers - including restricting the number of climbers in the facility to one household at a time.
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In doing so, Clip N Climb has drastically reduced its income, leaving owner Nick to rely heavily on Government grants.
"Over the Christmas period, we could see up to 200 customers a day whereas, with the latest set-up, this year the most we had was 12 in one day. It leaves us negotiating to survive.
"Our luck has been down throughout the pandemic. We applied for a £25,000 council tax grant but the property was deemed 'too big' by 11sq.m.
"The job that the councils have had to perform is immense and I cannot respect them enough for it - but the system needs to change to become quicker and more effective otherwise your business is left in limbo."
As it stands, Clip N Climb remains open while Weston is in tier three, though this could change depending on further Government announcements.
For information on how to book the facility, log on to www.weston.clipnclimb.co.uk