Welwyn Garden City high ropes course may open soon - under new operator

High Ropes course

High Ropes course - Credit: Archant

Talks have begun to find a fresh operator to run Welwyn Garden City’s controversial high ropes course, it has emerged.

The course, which Welwyn Hatfield Council ploughed £500,000 into, has not opened to the public after a serious fall in June 2013.

Last week a criminal case brought by the council against operators Finesse Leisure Services and Closer To The Edge, which built the Stanborough Park facilty, was adjourned.

It is not expected to resume until March next year – after St Albans Crown Court was unable to produce enough available jurors to try the case, which was set to last for four weeks.

Following the adjournment, a council spokeswoman told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The council is keen to open High Ropes as soon as possible.

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“We have started the process of looking for another operator and these discussions will now take into account the impact of the delayed court case.”

Since the fall, which left Caroline Mayger with a broken pelvis, the council has coughed up £375 for a safety inspection.

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It has not incurred any further costs, the authority has said.

Any profits from the course would have been split 50/50 between the council and Finesse.

In 2012 the authority forecast a return of £54,800 in the first three years.

The council’s spokeswoman added: “There was no payback period defined when the high ropes course was constructed because it was linked to further developments at Stanborough.

“However, we would normally expect a project like this to payback in 10 years.”

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