A far northern Scotland climbing gym closed its doors earlier this month due to mounting loses. Spireroxx opened in a former church in Elgin (pop: 23,000) nearly three years ago following an extensive £250,000 transformation project.
Yesterday, Steven McIntosh, who supports owner Jo Maunder, explained a change of circumstances had prompted the decision.
“Jo’s aim was always to keep it open as long as it was breaking even. Now her personal circumstances have changed, her parents live in Yorkshire and there are health issues there, so she’s been away a lot. It only broke even very rarely due to the high level of wages. The rates are also very high too – small businesses get no help, you’re on your own. It’s been very difficult. The staff have been excellent though, it’s not a reflection on them. It just isn’t cost-effective to keep it open,” McIntosh told The Press and Journal.
Mr McIntosh believes there remains a possibility of climbing returning to the historic Moray Street building. “There hasn’t been a decision yet whether to sell it as a going concern or the entire building. The wall isn’t going to go anywhere, it’ll be fine in there for a few years,” he said.