Spiral Freerun HQ - Building Our Own Parkour Gym
WE'VE SECURED PREMISES FOR OUR FACILITY:
As of the 15th July 2022, we have successfully secured a venue for Bedford's very first purpose built Parkour facility! Something which we as a team have been dreaming of since 2012. 10 years later, here we are with our childhood dream rapidly becoming a more overwhelming reality.
What is our plan going forward:
Our new facility will not be opening anytime before December 1st and we are aiming to open sometime between then and Christmas. Whilst we await various improvements to the building such as a new roof and other internal adjustments, the team will continue operating as normal from inside the Trinity Arts & Leisure Centre. The team will not be able to begin work on the facility until September 22, following a busy summer period.
Why we started crowdfunding:
We began crowdfunding as a result of a £10,500 rent increase from our current venue with no additional usage of facilities. This combined with various work being undertaken which has negatively impacted both our customers and our staff financially, and has made access to our venue much more challenging, we felt the need to seek our own premises earlier than originally anticipated. We are now paying a sum of money which is proportionate to the cost involved with owning running our own facility. This inevitably lead to us searching for additional funds to help supplement our project. We began crowdfunding and applied to various different grant funding organisations in order to reach a target of £30,000 to build Bedford's very first purpose built Parkour/ Freerunning facility and provide a safe haven for the community to learn a multitude of different movement disciplines from community organisations.
What is our goal:
We have received £10,000 match funding from both Sport England & Power To Change. This means that, providing we raise £10,000 across 100 supporters on our crowdfunder, we will receive £20,000 which will successfully complete our goal of £30,000.
What is the aim of our project:
The aim of our project is to provide a communal hub for Spiral Freerun's purpose built Parkour/ Freerunning facility, with space to accomodate 3rd party community organisations from a variety of acrobatic sports (gymnastics, cheerleading, dance & tricking for example). Our HQ will be Bedford's very first purpose built movement facility, with the closest trampoline parks, gymnastics/ parkour centres & other acrobatic leisure environments being based in Milton Keynes/ Stevenage. The communal hub will
The facility will provide our team of coaches, athletes, developers, performers & producers to continue to operate within, on a daily basis without restrictions such as time, space. The services that we provide on a daily basis at Spiral Freerun help tackle inclusion within sport & physical exercise, improve the physical health & wellbeing and provide great benefit to the mental health of our service users.
Who will our project benefit:
The project will provide a greater benefit to a larger population as we have currently maxed out our operation within our current facility. The increase of additional storage, and time in which we can make use of our new facility will mean that we can open more classes such as parent/ child classes; girl only glasses; SEND classes & many more. With the whole team now operating in one facility, we can now continue to develop our clothing services, work more closely with charities schools and other organisations & utilise dedicated space to continue to train our staff & provide more opportunities/ jobs for the young people we teach.
Our facility will also largely benefit those who are within the Gymnastics community and those who are involved with other similar acrobatic sports.
What's happened now we've reached our target:
We have successfully reached the total and we have received our £20,000 match funding and we will use the funds to go towards kitting out our facility. This combined with a grant, generously provided by 'The Harpur Trust' for the sum of £5,000 and the Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson's Community Chest Fund of £1,000 puts us in a current position of £26,000. Whilst we still have a whopping £64,000 to raise to fully kit out our new home, the £26,000 is an absolutely incredible starting point which will allow us to build the workshop, office, toilets, reception area & mezzanine. We then have up until January 2023 to successfully partner with organisations for sponsorship packages, donations & grunt funding and is something that we are currently working on.
What's the timeline looking like for the new gym:
Sport England have very kindly arranged for and funded a professional QS & Architect to come on board with our project and we are currently working with them to establish the specifics of the build ready for the construction phase to commence sometime in January 2023. From then, we will have until March to complete as much of the construction as possible and prepare the facility for its opening.
What we need help with
Following the end of our crowdfunder, we are seeking sponsorship from local organisations who may be willing to offer building materials/ contractors, operating system software, cash donations and more in return for branding within our new facility, on our social media & clothing for events. Alternatively, we are looking for volunteers towards our project (specifically with the construction of the facility - painting, decorating etc).
If you or your company may be able to assist us with our project, please get in touch with us using the Contact Form Here.
Update - 1st May 2023
After a condition survey was conducted with thanks to funding from Sport England to employ a QS and Architect onto the project, many more issues came to light than we had anticipated. Whilst we knew the property we had set out for us in Ravensden was going to need some serious renovations, we did not anticipate the extent of the renovations which were estimated to cost between £329,000 -£730,000. We quickly realised that it was looking likely that the property was not going to be for us and was informed boy Sport England on the 8th February 2023 that the properties 'change of use' had expired in 2021 as there had been no provisions under its new leisure category within 3 years of the application being made in 2018. This meant that the property was now not only feasible financially, but logistically as well.
We finally decided to throw in the towel on that particular property in Ravensden on February 8th and informed Trinity Arts & Leisure that we were no longer planning on moving out as we no longer have a property lined up for us. Unfortunately Trinity Arts & Leisure have already organised of repairs and renovations to be conducted following our departure on April 30th 2023. Panic quickly began to set in as we had been put in a position where we no longer have a long term option, but neither do we have a short term option to bridge the gape between our contract end date, and the uncertain discovery of our new property whenever and wherever that may be. We spent the remainder of February and the entirety of March looking for properties on a regular basis, alongside the help of Wills Head & Eve (who were funded by Sport England) to assist us with the property search and begin getting the ball rolling with the viewings and consequently, the lease and finalisation of any properties that may come to light. By 1st April, we had only found one potential option which was Sharnbrook Academy. Unfortunately this highlighted a number of potential cons that seemed to outweigh the pros, but did not have much of a choice as this was the ONLY option within the entirety of Bedfordshire that we had successfully managed to get the go ahead from.
Plan B was to expand our search criteria slightly outside of Bedford and begin looking at Sandy, Biggleswade, Cranfield and other surrounding towns and villages which may be able to provide more potential options in the way of long term properties. We then sent out the newsletter to our members to inform them of our current position, seek support and highlight the areas of concern we have for the club and its move to Sharnbrook Academy. This was an incredibly difficult time for us not only as a business, but for us all personally as it was affecting us in many more ways than one. Our newsletter was well received and we were flooded with support from our members, but the survey we sent out highlighted that Sharnbrook had very quickly moved from our only option, to an option which would shoot ourselves in the foot more than shutting our doors. This was never an option we were willing to take and frantically spent the entirety of April racing around between coaching, training our next batch of junior coaches alongside all of the other regular day to day tasks and responsibilities whilst having the additional expense of teaching holiday camps everyday prior to classes (which seriously hindered our admin time). After exploring many false leads or leads that seemed to be amazing but unfortunately turned out to be unfeasible, we successfully found and announced our next full time base of operations as of the 1st May 2023 at Ride Leisure, Wyboston Lakes, Wyboston, MK44 3AL.
There are a number of pros and cons regarding our move, but our new partnership with Ride Leisure has incredible potentially to grow and opts for a great short term base of operations until Wilks Head & Eve successfully source our forever home. We'll update you on more information as and when we have it.