Pilot Climbing Wall Concept

We are finally ready to crowdfund for a pilot climbing wall. This will be a small, membership-only wall, which we will use as a testing ground to trial different ideas, set up systems and understand best practices in a controlled way before launching the larger campaign for a public gym.  
*Final design subject to change


The Unit 21b at Merrets Mill is an 800sqft unit with about 4m at the highest point. It sits next to Coffee Lada and Fresh Standard Brewery, right by the cycle lane which connects Stroud and Nailsworth. 

Google Maps link

Cost to Build


Monthly Ongoing Cost


Total Annual Cost


What's gone into it already?


We've become a member of the Association of British Climbing Walls and incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee. We've had a structural engineer check the unit.

What's the setup?

The pilot facility aims to offer:

- 2x 24m2 circuit boards
- 2x 7m2 training boards
- 1x 7m2 Woodie board
- 1x 7m2 Digital Training Board

Free Weights
Campus board

Currently £17,130 

we reached 45% of our initial funding target.


The original deadline to sign the lease was Friday 24th May. But, we’ve been offered an extension until the 20th of June to sign the lease to begin on the 1st July.


Given the interest shown in the project, we plan to use this time to continue engagement, fundraising and planning for Merrets Mill in a phased way. With phase 1 opening in July/August.

What does this mean?

Initially, this would mean a scaled-back offer in the first few months while we apply for grant funding to cover the current shortfall. Along with additional money raised through crowdfunding efforts over the coming weeks, we believe we can realise the vision first set out to you.

With the current £17k raised, the initial offer from July/August would be a wall with several different angles with high density spray style setting used with a Stokt app or a Digital Training Board. It will accommodate a range of climbing abilities (subject to securing kit and insurance). We are working hard behind the scenes to enable younger people to climb under supervision following feedback over the last couple of weeks.

Based on our community survey with 600 respondents, we’re confident that once the minimum viable unit is built and we begin to operate as a facility, we will have more interest and sign ups. This will allow us to direct the cash flow towards increasing the wall space and cover one year of operational costs.

If you haven't yet pledged, you can continue to do so below until the 20th of June.


70 People
One time payment (equivalent to £25/month)


12 months unlimited access.
Under £20 a month thereafter.


70 People
One time payment (equivalent to £20/month)


4 vouchers a month (£5/entry).
Under £20 a month thereafter.


One time payment


Support the mission.
1 complimentary visit at a later stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs related to this pilot project

Why are we not using a crowdfunding platform?

Crowdfunding platforms generally charge around 5% of the total raised (£1890), plus 3% on every transaction. We think this money is better spent on making the facility better. It is a bit of an effort to do a bank transfer but you get a lot more for your money.

What happens if we don't reach the target?

We will email you to check if you would like us to hold the fund as we adjust the model and look for a different location, or to refund in full.

How do I participate or ask questions?

You can enter your details in the form above and receive instructions for payment, or come to our community meeting next week to discuss the ideas and ask questions. Details above.

What are other needs?

If you have any climbing related qualifications, please get in touch through our contact page.

What's the build quality like?

The walls and facilities will be built properly - we will be following guidelines and standards set by the Association of British Climbing Walls and will insure against public liability. The ply and mats will be industry standard and new. The holds will be sourced new and second-hand from a variety of sources including Core Climbing and Impact Route Setters and we are accepting donations.

How long will this facility be open for?

The facility will run for a minimum period of 12 months but the intention will be to run it for far longer than that. The value for money becomes better for everyone the longer it runs. However, based on research we’ve done, we know that there is far more demand than we can offer capacity for right now. The phase 2 public facility is in the pipeline and we anticipate any move would be to a larger venue in or around Stroud. The membership of all founders who helped us build the pilot will transfer to the new facility at that point.

What's the timeframe for this crowdfunding?

We want to make a decision on whether this will go ahead on Thursday 16th of May at the community meeting. If enough people are willing to pledge, we will sign the lease and aim to have the facility up and running within 45 days.

How does the funding work?

We estimate we need to raise £25,000 up-front to build the facility, and then we need to pay the ongoing maintenance fee (ABC memberships, insurance, rent, bills) which comes to around 1300 PCM. We need 70 participants, paying £300 each for an unlimited annual pass and another 70 paying £250 for a 4 pass a month (£5/entry) fee.. This covers the build and 1 year of operational cost. From then on, the monthly fee will drop to cover the operational cost (100 people paying £13 each would cover the £1300) but with more members we could drop this even further. If demand is there, we can expand into more units. No profit will be made by any individual - any surplus funding will be reinvested into the facility or used to reduce maintenance fees for participants.

Where is it and what facility can we expect?

The location we’ve found is between Stroud and Nailsworth, near a coffee shop and brewery. This 800ft2 unit could house a number of plywood ‘woodies’ (overhung walls with permanent wooden holds), a circuit wall (for training endurance) and some fun boulder problems. There is also space for campus boards and some other gym equipment. The funding we want to raise would convert most of this space, with walls, holds, and mats. There will be some space left for more development as usership grows.

Accessible Climbing for All

We want to make climbing affordable and accessible to more people