Corby council taking recovery action against failed climbing centre charity

Corby Council is taking recovery action against a climbing centre charity whose venture failed earlier this year.

By Sarah Ward
Monday, 23rd December 2019, 6:00 am
Suzi McGowan (pictured here at the climbing centre) says a lack of sales led to the venture failing.
Suzi McGowan (pictured here at the climbing centre) says a lack of sales led to the venture failing.

There were big hopes for the £250,000 Corby Climbing Centre when it opened its doors in a former warehouse on St Marks Road in July 2018 but just ten months later it suddenly closed, with them announcing the news on social media.

In October the High Court ordered that Corby Climbing Ltd was wound up and on Tuesday (Dec 17) Corby Council’s grants committee decided to deny the charity’s request to write off a £2,000 grant it received from the authority and is now joining the company’s creditors.

The council report said the social enterprise – which was linked to iDID Adventure – had claimed £974 of the grant remained unspent with the rest having paid for instructors’ costs and equipment hire.

It said: “Despite requests no evidence of spend and achieved outcomes have been received. Therefore it is concluded the whole £2,000 remains outstanding and therefore it is recommended recovery proceedings by the council should now commence. “

According to companies house records Corby Climbing Ltd has never submitted any accounts. The climbing centre had received grants from the European Regional Development Fund, The Horner Foundation and Social Investment Loans. iDID Adventure, which was founded by Suzi McGowan in 2012, was dissolved in May 2018.

Speaking from her new home in North Wales director Suzi McGowan said the sports venue’s failure was down to not making enough sales.

She said: “The insolvency of the climbing centre itself was devastating for everyone involved and we worked extremely hard to resolve financial issues. Unfortunately, the business was unable to make enough sales to make it viable. We’ve worked extremely hard this year to try and find a resolution for our customers and creditors but due to the viability, we were unable to attract financial support or any buyers to the business.

“We have also worked with some members of the community through the summer to try to look at a community takeover but unfortunately this was unable to progress.

“It is extremely sad for our staff, customers, and everyone who has supported the business.

” I grew up in the area so it’s incredibly disappointing that the business didn’t work – we really wanted to do something amazing.”