Adventure awaits: Robinwood opens Wrexham centre


Rhodri Evans
Deputy Fund Manager, New Investments
Published:
robin wood

New activity centre welcomes first school groups this June following £5.6 million funding package from NatWest and the Development Bank of Wales

Robinwood, who already run a number of popular education and activity centres for children across England, are opening their doors to their brand new Cross Lanes Wrexham site for the first time this month.

The company provide a range of residential activity courses to primary school groups from age 7 to 11.

Children can climb and canoe, ride a giant swing or zoom down a zipwire – all at the same site. Lessons and activities are tailored for different year groups, all studying key stage 2. 

Over 1,000 children will go through Robinwood Cross Lanes’ doors this June alone.    Martin Vasey, who founded the company in 1993, said: “We’re excited to be finally welcoming our first guests to our brand new Wrexham centre. We offer a tailored and exciting programme for junior school children, allowing them to learn and develop whilst taking part and to build team-working skills with their classmates. From being able to shoot a bow for the first time on our archery range, to raft-building with their friends, Robinwood offers 7 to 11 year-olds lots of outdoors opportunities, with 15 different activities packed into our three day course.” 

Robinwood bought a closed-down hotel at Cross Lanes, Wrexham for £1.4 million in 2016. They received a £1.5 million loan from the Development Bank of Wales to help them redevelop the site as part of £5.6 million plans. NatWest provided a £4.1 million loan to help the project. The new activity centre has created 38 jobs.   “We’ve long wanted to have a site in north Wales, so we snapped up the opportunity to buy and redevelop this beautiful site at Cross Lanes. Thanks to the help of the Development Bank of Wales and RBS NatWest we’ve been able to bring in brand new facilities including a zipwire, giant swing and climbing wall,” added Martin. 

Simon Jones, Relationship Director, NatWest Commercial and Private Banking, said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the directors at Robinwood for almost ten years. During which time NatWest has supported the team with the acquisition and development of a number of projects across a variety of locations. I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to work alongside the Development Bank of Wales on this project, to support the vision and drive of Martin Vasey and Ian Goldsack at Robinwood. NatWest has provided a £4.1 million funding package to help them create this fantastic venue, which has created a number of new jobs in the area. I wish the team at Robinwood every success and hope to continue to work with them in the future.”

North Wales Regional Manager for the Development Bank of Wales, Rhodri Evans said: “It’s brilliant to see the site renovated to such a high standard in such a short amount of time. When Martin came to us looking for a loan, we were pleased to be able to help. Robinwood have a great reputation for providing high-quality activity centres for children. They also have a solid business model and excellent links with schools across the country. We hope their first guests, and many future guests to come, enjoy the exciting facilities available here.”

Funding for the deal came from the Wales Business Fund, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government.