We had a fantastic time celebrating the official opening of The Arc on Saturday 9th April. The sun was shining and it was great to see the climbing centre, skatepark and café buzzing with people enjoying themselves.
We invited legendary British climber, Kenton Cool, to cut the official ribbon for us and he also gave an inspiring talk to guests in a marquee outside the front of the centre. Kenton is about to attempt his 16th summit of Everest. You can hear the ribbon cutting moment below and more about climbing at The Arc in this great clip from BBC Radio Wiltshire.
There was a brilliant atmosphere at the Arc skatepark as Russ and James from Canvas – Skateparks and Public Spaces kicked off The Arc Jam event. Attendees were treated to jaw dropping tricks and runs from pro-skaters and there was loads of local talent on show from the youngest right through to the most experienced riders – all delighting the large crowd of spectators. There was music and prizes galore, including some donated by Chippenham Skate shop Burt’s Boards. You can hear footage from The Arc Jam in this fantastic clip from BBC Radio Wiltshire.
A constant stream of climbers on the outside wall showed off this unique facility and it was brilliant to see so many people enjoying tours & climbing in the indoor facilities too as The Climbing Academy team welcomed everyone to enjoy the facilities. One of these climbers was Mary, a local para climber. You can hear Mary talk about climbing at The Arc in this BBC Radio Wiltshire interview – and read all about her in this BBC article.
We were delighted to also welcome nearly 100 guests to the occasion, including lots of different people who helped to make the new facility a reality. We appreciate each & every contribution from individuals and our partner organisations. Thanks also to local companies, Nourishers for providing the delicious food and Honeycomb Marquees for providing the marquee and furniture.
We hope that The Arc climbing centre, skatepark and cafe will be enjoyed by the people of Chippenham for years to come.
The Arc is a purpose-built centre offers bouldering, roped climbing, a cafe and a free skatepark overlooking Westmead playing field. You can find out more information about visiting The Arc on the The Climbing Academy website.
Climbing is an accessible activity that can help people to step up out of the confines of expectations, disability, age and even social circumstances. TCA have releasing a short film about climbing including footage of a local youth group from The Rise Trust trying climbing at The Arc for the first time. Watch the film – made by Mark Vaughan for TCA – on YouTube.