Family-run climbing centre left hanging during pandemic

Clip 'N Climb Weston

Clip 'N Climb in Weston remains open, operating one household a time under tier three restrictions. - 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."

Nick Mussell, new Clip n Climb manager at Dolphin Square.

Nick Mussell, new Clip n Climb manager at Dolphin Square. - Credit: Archant

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.

Staff at Clip 'N Climb

The coronavirus pandemic has seen daily climbers fall from 200 a day to 12 or less. - Credit: Clip N Climb

"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


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