Tuesday 17 September 2019

'Nobody would insure me' - soaring costs shut adventure centre down

An estimated 150,000 people have enjoyed activities such as wall-climbing, zip-lining and
archery at the 15-year-old centre, which employs 20 in seasonal jobs. Stock
An estimated 150,000 people have enjoyed activities such as wall-climbing, zip-lining and archery at the 15-year-old centre, which employs 20 in seasonal jobs. Stock

Louise Walsh

Rising insurance costs have closed yet another adventure centre - but the owners are determined to make the best of the situation.

Loughcrew Adventure Centre, outside Oldcastle, Co Meath was forced to close yesterday because of a 100pc insurance premium hike from €20,000 to €40,000.

An estimated 150,000 people have enjoyed activities such as wall-climbing, zip-lining and archery at the 15-year-old centre, which employs 20 in seasonal jobs.

A threat to the Loughcrew Estate, house and manicured gardens was averted when owner Emily Napier managed to secure public liability insurance through an Irish broker.

Loughcrew Estate is the ancestral home of St Oliver Plunkett.

Owner Emily Naper said she was saddened to have to close the centre, but is now focusing on the future and developing the estate for retreats and children's escapes.

"I've spent the last three months battling to keep Loughcrew open," she said.

"No one would insure me. Only two weeks ago, I managed to get a broker to get me public liability insurance of €19,000 and further insurance on the house for €3,500.

"Despite my best efforts, however, I could only get a quote for the adventure centre which was 100pc more than last year. I could not afford €40,000 and have had to close it earlier today.

"I actually started the adventure centre initially to give children confidence to climb but have now decided to focus on what I have and give children confidence in a new way.

"I'm taking the thrill out of the air and on to the ground to create magical gardens with stories at every turn."

Irish Independent

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