Monday 2 October 2023
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Crowdfunder launched for incredible Boatyard Boulders climbing centre under Lady Bay Bridge

The project is to transform a historical Nottingham site into a vibrant realistic-rock outdoor climbing centre and cultural venue.

There’s a £50,000 target to get the centre up and running.

Ben Hunter explains the project:

Ben said: ‘I have been installing climbing walls for over 20 years and over a million people have climbed on these installations.

‘I work with a small group of highly skilled rock sculptors, artists and carpenters.

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‘My passion is to increase access to climbing and adventure sport participation. It has always been a personal dream of mine to create an outdoor bouldering park to bridge the gap between indoor climbing and real rock.

‘I have a team of people that are the best in their fields committed to creating something unique here.

‘We have secured the site formerly known as ‘the arches adventure base’ under Lady Bay Bridge.

‘Our logo was hand drawn, the rock structures will be hand carved, each climbing hold will be made by us on site.


 Over the years we’ve worked on:

  • Artificial rock,
  • Manufactured climbing holds
  • Painted murals
  • Built timber freestanding structures and playground equipment.

‘After 20 years on the road installing climbing structures across across the country, we want to put all of that experience into one site ‘Boatyard Boulders’.

‘It will be a constantly evolving place, with mural artwork, ultra realistic rock structures, street art, kids area and riverside coffee area.

‘Eventually we also intend to add paddle boarding and kayaking, utilising the boatyard slipway.

‘We want to reserve at least 1 day per week for school bookings.

‘We currently partner with community payback and we’d like to do more of this to turn this place into something Nottingham and the Midlands can be proud of.

‘It will be a paid entry site, but with affordable sessions. The closest comparison to what we intend to build is the Cliffs at DUMBO, New York city, but ours will have realistic rock structures instead of blue fibreglass ones.


How will the money be spent?

  • Ultra realistic artificial boulders with the ability to attach climbing holds for regular route setting. We’ll offset the carbon from the concrete we use by planting 1000 square metres of woodland. In addition we’re using Hemp shiv filler where possible (UK grown).
  • We will build a total of 900 square metres of climbing surface in phase 1. Approx 300 square metres of realistic rock and 600 square metres of timber structures. At present there is an approximate combined 2000 square metres of climbing area available within 4 miles of the city centre.  We will increase this by 45%.

If you’d like to donate go here to Crowdfunder: Boatyard Boulders – Lady Bay Bridge Nottingham

Our space under Lady Bay Bridge Nottingham 

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Dedicated kid’s area. Timber structures, murals and as much as we can safely pack into the space.

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Bonded rubber mulch safety surfacing. Made from recycled tyres, this puts what would have gone to landfill to good use.

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Large forest mural to cover up the corrugated building and visually transform the space.

River safety barriers. Whilst it’s great to be on the river, we must put extensive safety barriers in place.

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It’s a difficult time for many people so we wanted the rewards to reflect our gratitude and be something we either designed or made ourselves. See our sets of rubber-backed climbing holds that grip on to any surface. We also have limited edition signed graffiti prints or ‘get your name on our changing room block’ and T-shirts. Please click the rewards tab for more details.

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The Arches Adventure Base

The site has an incredible history and was transformed by volunteers.

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Our team will transform it back into something positive for the city of Nottingham, to bring it back into use for many years to come.

The arches adventure base youth provision in the late 1990s. 

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Rewards details 

£15 -Logo concept artwork print A3 ‘Lost Octopus’

500 x available.

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£20 – Exclusive access weekend pass (soft opening)

date to be announced

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£35 – Signed by the artist and numbered 1 of 100 A3 print ‘Stranded’

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£30 – Unisex T-shirt ‘Boatyard Boulders

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£50 – Name on our changing room block. Not across the whole wall, but 15cm x 20cm space per person, 2 lines max 14 characters per line.

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£65 – Beginner set of 15 x rubber-backed climbing holds. White colour without fixings. These are hand made by us.

£85 – Advanced set of 15 x rubber-backed climbing holds. White colour without fixings. These are hand made by us.

£1350 – X300 mixed colour climbing holds. 4 colour split. Bolt on type, rubber-backed. These are hand made by us.

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£5000 – Tour of the build. 4 x T-Shirts. 300x mixed colour climbing holds. Name on our refurbished entrance shield plaque. (It will be restored to its 1989 state)

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£12,000 – 4 month advertising slot on our 5 metre x 10 metre mural wall off lady bay bridge. This includes a drone filming package. Everything is hand sprayed and we can provide the graphic design too. 15k+ cars pass it per day and up to 12k footfall on match days.

If you’d like to donate go here to Crowdfunder: Boatyard Boulders – Lady Bay Bridge Nottingham

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