A Liverpool-based indoor climbing chain founded by a Lisburn entrepreneur has raised £4 million in funding to help it build a further five new centres.
The Climbing Hangar has secured the funding from asset manager Mercia’s Northern Venture Capital Trust (VCT) – funds which offer tax relief for private individuals to back smaller businesses – and will use the capital to double the size of the business within 18 months.
It follows a previous funding round from the Northern VCT to the tune of £6 million.
The company operates five sites; two in Liverpool and one in London, Swansea and Plymouth respectively, with a site in Sheffield nearing completion.
It employs around 110 people and has throughput of 12,000 climbers a month, 4,000 of which are currently members.
The Climbing Hangar was founded in 2011 by current chief executive Ged MacDomhnaill – who is originally from Lisburn – with the aim of creating a leisure centre environment with affordable climbing facilities.
“The investment is absolutely crucial, especially after the year we have had. Mercia has had the confidence in us and the business in these incredibly challenging times to continue to invest in growth,” Mr MacDomhnaill said. “Our team are incredibly excited by this vote of confidence, and this underpins the kind of relationship we have had with Mercia.
“With this investment we hope to double the size of the company within 18 months and build another five centres in that time.”
Lee Lindley, Investment Associate at Mercia, welcomed the deal.
“We’re delighted to be able to provide further investment into The Climbing Hangar as they continue to expand the business across the UK,” he said. “Ged and the team have developed the country’s best climbing experience for novice and experienced climbers alike, and this investment will allow the company to double its number of sites over the next few years.”