Glasgow Climbing Centre – Member Profile

Member Profile

The AIM team have been out and about meeting members during busy renewal season. Our Account Executive Ralph Doe recently made it to Scotland to visit long standing member Neil Mackay from Glasgow Climbing Centre/ Climbzone.

Glasgow Climbing Centre have been covered with AIM for over 10 years and are continuing to branch out and try new and exciting activities to add to their portfolio. The unusual premises based in an old church purchased 24 years ago as a derelict shell are now home to a mix of climbing styles from slabs and vertical walls to the steeply overhanging; from short boulder problems to athletic 16 meter routes.

At the Climbzone site you can try your hand at a number of activities including freestanding climbing walls, a state of the art 60m long aerial adventure course called The Skypark, Twin Power Fan Descenders at The Drop and the newest activity The Big Slide. The UK’s tallest indoor slide is 16m high and 40m long. Owner & Director Neil Mackay designed the slide himself and used a fabricator in Germany to build it. It’s generating a lot of interest, both kids and those adults who are young at heart can visit the slide for the same cost.

How long have you been in business and what were your reasons for joining AIM:-

I bought the church that Glasgow Climbing Centre is in 24 years ago, and have been at Soar @ Intu Braehead with Climbzone for 12 years.

Good insurance is an essential part of business – especially when you operate what appear to be high risk activities. In the early days, I was fairly disillusioned with the insurance options that were available within the outdoor activities market and so I was delighted when AIM was started. I signed up immediately as I recognised the benefits of a mutual that worked for its members and not for itself. AIM also understood the actual activities that were being provided by the members and that specialist knowledge made everything easier

What is your most popular activity?

Sky Park and Fan drop at Climbzone. We get a lot of regulars at the Climbing Centre too but it’s always busy at Climbzone and the Giant Slide has been really popular with visitors.

What is the biggest challenge you face running your business?

Staffing. We have a small group of long term staff and a large group of short term seasonal staff. There are high costs involved in training the seasonal staff and many are student studying for exams which can cause problems.

Where is your next holiday destination?

In June I’m taking on the Route Des Grandes Alpes which runs from Geneva to Nice and includes all the highest passes in the Alps. I should have been training since Christmas.

For more information and to read all about the Big Slide at Climbzone please follow these links.