Treetop company targets new heights

EAST Anglia-based treetop adventure company Go Ape High Wire Forest Adventure has unveiled expansion plans for 2010, involving new centres both in the UK and overseas.

EAST Anglia-based treetop adventure company Go Ape High Wire Forest Adventure has unveiled expansion plans for 2010, involving new centres both in the UK and overseas.

Go Ape, based at Hargrave, near Bury St Edmunds, currently employs more than 350 staff and has 22 forest adventure courses across the UK.

With 1.8 million visitors to date, next years' plans include the creation of up to seven new Go Ape course in the UK, including two new courses in Wales and 100 new jobs, while international expansion plans are under way in both Australia and America.

And with this year's revenue up year on year by 20% to �10.1 million and visitor numbers up by 16% to 512, 000 Go Ape is on goal to open 40 courses by 2012.


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Next year will also see Go Ape founders Rebecca and Tristram heading off for four months on a world adventure leaving managing director Jerome Mayhew at the helm, supported by newly appointed head of marketing Will Blair who is due to join the firm in January after a decade with outdoor clothing brand Fat Face.

The couple founded Go Ape in 2002 following a holiday in France where they saw a similar adventure deep in the Auvergne. Already thinking about stepping off the corporate ladder, they saw an opportunity to start a business moulded by their own values and quit their London jobs to open their first centre in Thetford Forest.

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Mr Mayhew said: “When Becs and I set up Go Ape we did so to create a dream rural based lifestyle for us and for our future children. What has taken us by surprise is how much fun it has been to grow a business from an idea to a nationally recognised adventure brand.”

Go Ape will tonight hear whether it has added national success to the regional honour it achieved earlier this year in the National Business Awards.

The company is one of 12 finalists for the Small to Medium Sized Business Award at the event, being held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Active Web Solutions, based at Little Blakenham, near Ipswich, is also shortlisted for the Best Use of Technology in Business Award, together with nine other finalists.

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