We want to give all our climbers advance notice that prices will be changing in September.
With the cost of living crisis continuing, this will probably come as no surprise to most of you. Despite trying to hold off as long as we can, it has come to the point where in order to keep operating safely we need to take this step.
The changes will come into effect on September 15th 2023.
We love that the Castle is an actual castle, and we know you do too. But this atmospheric grade II listed building brings its own challenges, and caring for the historic structure is stretching us to breaking point.
Predicted cost of brickwork repairs: £2.2 million over the next 5 years
To be able to continue our ongoing programme of essential repairs, we’re faced with huge and unavoidable costs. Right now we are undergoing extensive brickwork conservation necessary to keep the centre structure safe and open to the public. Work we had quoted pre-pandemic has skyrocketed in costs – what at the start of 2020 was £70k has now more than doubled to £180k. This is on top of the cost of living crisis we’re all facing right now, including increasing interest rates, spiking energy prices and wholesale price rises – many of which have more than doubled.
Castle energy bill 2019: £21,000
Castle energy bill (estimated) 2023: £58,000
We are a committed London Living Wage Employer and all our other salaries and hourly rates are tied to this baseline. It is right and fair that this baseline has increased, and we increased our pay in line with that – which means that our staffing costs have increased by more than 8% since September last year, and are almost certainly going to increase again soon.
Castle wage bill has increased by more than 8% since 2022
We acknowledge this is a difficult time for many, and the increased prices across the board is impacting individuals as well as organisations. With everyone feeling the pinch, upping our prices will be an unwelcome (if inevitable) step.
So we have introduced some measures to try to ease the transition.
We will be introducing a permanent 6 month upfront membership for those who find our Annual membership tricky to do in one go.
We will be honouring bulk buys bought at the current prices until their normal 1 year expiry date, so you can stock up on pre-paid entries at our current prices.
Finally, for the autumn only, we’re offering a one-off 3 month membership called Autumn Saver Membership for a good value autumn option, available to buy from 1-14 September only.