Nevis Range is planning to take its visitors to new heights with the introduction of a series of high ropes courses at the foot of the mountain gondola.
Nevis Range, near Fort William in the Outdoor Capital of the UK, is to build a series of high ropes courses at the foot of the UK's only mountain gondola. The Family and the Forest courses will cater for all ages from the very young to the very old, and for all abilities, from the complete novice to the more adventurous.
The Family course, to be built in a corner of the existing car park, will have 2 levels, one at approximately 1m off the ground, and the higher, about 4m off the ground. Features at each level will include swing tyres, postman's walk (a high rope), an Indiana bridge (horizontal rope ladder) and a zip wire.
The Forest course will be built in the Leanachan Forest, some 10m high into the existing spruce trees, some of which are over 100ft tall and 50 years old. This course will be geared towards more adventurous individuals and will feature swinging platforms, a balance beam and a sliding trapeze, and will end with a 100m zip wire finishing close to the Family course.
Both courses will be constructed by Rope Course Construction and Inside Out Scotland and will be verified by European Ropes Courses Association (ERCA), the organisation responsible for formulating safety standards for ropes courses. The courses will also be graded from easy to difficult using the easily recognisable green, blue, red and black grading system.
£77k of funding has been received from Highlands and Islands Enterprise towards the estimated £250k project.
Marian Austin, MD of Nevis Range, said: 'This new ropes activity is an integral part of our plan to grow and diversify the business. Since opening in 1989 as a ski area and all year round visitor attraction, we have diversified into mountain biking, which led to us becoming the venue for a round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. And the success of the World Cup has resulted in the Motorcycle Trial World Championships coming in June this year. Last year we also launched the Nevis Bike School and built a new red graded mountain bike cross country trail, the only one in the UK accessed by gondola.
“The ropes course has been in planning for several years now and its taken us all that time to secure the funding, planning and leases, as well as carry out the research and feasibility studies needed before we could start.”
She concluded, “As a business we cannot stand still, we've got to keep listening to our customers, and innovate and diversify. As a business located in the 'Outdoor Capital of the UK' we are continually working to provide outstanding outdoor experiences for our visitors.”
Heather Negus, Marketing Manager, added, “each year, about 200,000 visitors visit Nevis Range, and these include skiers and snowboarders, mountain bikers and groups of families and friends. The new high ropes courses will appeal to a large number of these existing customers seeking a bit of adventure and also help us attract new customers to Nevis Range as well as to Fort William.”
Alison Gainsford, Head of Business Growth for HIE's Fort William Area Office, commented: “Highlands and Islands Enterprise has firmly supported Nevis Range's aims to develop and grow for many years and the new Ropes Course is a welcome addition to what is already a world class attraction. Nevis Range has proved that Lochaber has a huge amount to offer the outdoor enthusiast and we are delighted to be able to help fund a new activity that will both attract additional visitors to the area as well as serve the local community even better.”
It is expected that the ropes course will open early June 2010, to coincide with the Mountain Bike World Cup event at Nevis Range.
Picture available of Marian Austin, MD, Nevis Range and Roddy McGregor, from Argyll-Arborists, testing the trees available from Iain Ferguson, 01397 703323 / 07702 064625, firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information, photo opportunities, as well as opportunities to try the courses (once complete!)
01397 705825 / 07900 224068
Notes to News Editors
Nevis Range is located in the Outdoor Capital of the UK. www.outdoorcapital.co.uk
Nevis Range is enjoying a successful winter season and already the snowsport visitor numbers of 30,000 are the highest since 2001.
The European Ropes Courses Association (ERCA), based in Hannover, is responsible for the standards concerning construction, inspection and operation of ropes courses.
Nevis Range has adopted a Gaelic Language Plan and is working with Bord Na Gaidhlig to achieve its implementation.
HIE's role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. To achieve this it creates infrastructure for future investment, assists large and small businesses with growth aspirations and has a unique role strengthening communities, particularly in fragile areas. HIE supports the growth ambitions of business and social enterprise clients by creating close working relationships in order to accelerate growth in turnover, profitability, wage levels, exports and therefore Gross Value Added (GVA) in the HIE area. HIE also invests in transformational projects across the region to make the Highlands and Islands a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, study and grow. The region covered by HIE takes in more than half of Scotland, and is home to around 440,000 people. See www.hie.co.uk for more information.