Boost for East Belfast as visitor numbers climb at new attraction

A new leisure attraction at Dundonald International Ice Bowl in Castlereagh has been hailed as a major economic boost to the area, having already created 33 new jobs and welcomed 6,000 visitors through its doors since opening to the public.

Clip ‘n Climb – a unique leisure climbing concept originating from New Zealand– features over 24 individually themed climbing walls and activities aimed at providing healthy, challenging fun for people of all ages.   The facility also features a new Starbucks coffee bar.

An initial half a million pound investment in the facility, provided by Danske Bank and private investor Stephen Dickson has seen the creation of 33 new full-time and part-time jobs, with potential for a further 10 jobs to be created in the coming months. 
Speaking at its official launch, the Mayor of Castlereagh, Councillor David Drysdale said, “Clip ‘n Climb will bring a welcomed economic boost to Castlereagh, not just through the creation of new jobs, but also by attracting large numbers of new tourists and visitors to the Borough.”
The Mayor added, “Dundonald International Ice Bowl has been a popular attraction for many years and has achieved the highest visitor figures in the Northern Ireland Visitor Survey in 2010 and 2011. The Council is thrilled to welcome private investment from Clip ‘n Climb to enhance the choice of activities available at the facility and provide a unique experience for visitors.”
Clip ‘n Climb Franchisee Stephen Dickson said: “We were very keen to bring something unique to the leisure sector in Northern Ireland and Clip ‘n Climb very much fits the bill.  Providing a range of both physical and mental challenges, the attraction is a safe, affordable and fun concept which appeals to families and people of all ages.
“Our visitor numbers to date have proven the demand for this type of attraction and staff have received an overwhelming amount of positive customer feedback and support, I am very confident that we will continue to see high numbers coming through our doors in the coming months and years.”
Mr Dickson said that the project would not have been possible without the support of Danske Bank:  “Clip ‘n Climb is something very new and innovative for Northern Ireland.  The fact that Danske Bank was willing to support us, not just financially but through their knowledge and expertise, is a real sign of confidence in this project and testament to the bank’s modern, forward-thinking approach.”

Danske Bank Business Acquisition Manager Jonathan Elder said: “The leisure and tourism sector has a major role to play in achieving sustainable economic growth in Northern Ireland, so we are delighted to support what is a very unique, innovative concept that will add a whole new dimension to this sector and will serve as a great boost to the East Belfast area.”

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