Indirock - Southend's first bouldering wall

by Emily Vermont in Southend On Sea, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 19th November 2020 we successfully raised £25,873 with 256 supporters in 14 days

Our aims are to bring the adventure & enjoyment of bouldering to Southend, to be part of the revival of our town & to support young people

by Emily Vermont in Southend On Sea, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We're crowdfunding for phase 1 and want to get this ready for early 2021 so we can welcome our supporters as soon as possible. Phase 2 is something we've been planning alongside the initial build and is currently around 6 months behind phase 1. If Indirock was to smash our £25,000 target all extra money would go towards getting phase 2 up and running. 

The extra space and facilities will cost around half a million to complete, and we need to prove the success and support for the centre to gain the additional funding needed. All pledges for this Crowdfunder will be a HUGE bonus for us and help us get the larger space open sooner!

What is Indirock?

Indirock is a new bouldering wall coming to Southend.

It will centre around bouldering - rock climbing stripped back to its raw essentials. A venue for the whole community, Indirock will include a coffee shop run by our partners Hugo’s Pantry, with space for remote working, and maybe a yoga and events space as the business grows.

We are raising £25,000 towards the whopping half a million pounds cost of Indirock. The global pandemic may have put a spanner in the works but it won’t stop us - we just need a cash boost to get us over the first hurdle and ready to begin building so we can open in early 2021.



Our vision is of a future where Southend has got its soul back. Where the town centre is buzzing with creative spaces, social venues, places where you can relax and call home. 

We envisage a Southend where young people from any background have access to opportunities to reach their full potential, and people from all walks of life rub shoulders and take an interest in each other. 

We see a place where people feel fit and well and, along with the fresh sea air, Southend provides spaces where people are able to let go of worries and get back to their true selves. 

Southend’s level of physical health doesn’t compare well with the rest of the UK. 74% of Southend’s 15 year olds are sedentary for at least 7 hours a day. 24% of Southend’s adults are physically inactive, full stop.

In a piece of research done by our council, Southend residents said that if there were more “fun and sociable” activities on offer, they’d be more likely to exercise. That’s where bouldering comes in.


Why now?

Bouldering is booming! There are over 30 walls already in London and 1.5 million people in the UK climbed last year. Indirock will bring the adventure and enjoyment of bouldering to Southend

We want to be part of the revival of our town, Southend-on-sea We love Southend and we see Indirock playing a positive role bringing new visitors to the area, encouraging footfall and with our community focus, keeping them here for longer

Young people need a hand up, not a handout. Indirock will support vulnerable young people from our local area into work, to achieve their full potential. We’ll offer around 20 local people job opportunities and job skills training for those who need it most.

So who are we?

Indirock was founded by husband and wife, Emily & Gordon.


In their own words:

Hi, I’m Gordon and I’ve been bouldering for 4 years now and I’m mad about it.

Bouldering is the simplest form of rock climbing, no need for ropes or harnesses. Just a pair of shoes, some chalk and you’re ready to go. Because it doesn’t require ropes, it makes you feel really free. You focus more on technique, balance, power and problem solving, without worrying about heights.

Bouldering is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK. It’s fun, a great way to keep fit, super easy to get into and it’s very sociable. I love bouldering because it’s such a great workout. I’m sick of going to the gym, doing the same boring reps. Bouldering doesn’t feel like a chore,  it engages your whole body and your mind. 

I’m Emily, and I love it because it’s one of the few things women and men can compete equally at. Gordon might be stronger than me and practice more, but because I love yoga I’m more flexible so can smash some climbs that he finds more difficult. I think I’m also a bit better at balancing!

And how did Indirock come about?

We met while living in London but I (Emily) was longing to move back to the Essex seaside where my family are from. We began our search and fell in love with Southend, but there was one problem.... there were no bouldering walls!

So Emily brushed that little detail aside by joking that we could start one up ourselves. As it happened, the idea snowballed and here we are actually doing it!


So, what’s the plan?

Well, back in the spring of 2020 we were ready to sign the lease on our venue and start building the first phase of our brand new facility. The plans were drawn, the lease was nearly signed… and then the global pandemic hit! Like thousands of other businesses we were stopped in our tracks. 

As it happens we also welcomed our first child into the world over the summer, so although lockdown was tough, it was a good opportunity to pause. We've had more time with our daughter and also to renegotiate the best lease we can get to shore up Indirock's future.

However the pause on building work meant that what was already costing a whopping half a million pounds, is getting more pricey by the day. We’ve secured a large portion of the costs through funding, savings, loans and investments, but by contributing to this Crowdfunder you will get us over an important hurdle so we can start the building work for phase 1, pretty much NOW!

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Phase 1

Indirock is a big project. We’re taking over a space that has been vacant for nearly 15 years and there is a lot of initial work to be done before we even think about putting the climbing walls in.


For phase 1, we’re going to build a taster wall alongside a buzzing coffee shop - run by our partners Hugo’s Pantry. We’ll then open to you, our wonderful friends, to come and try us out, tell us what you like and what you’d like to see us do differently when we build the rest of the facility. A few months after the launch of our pilot we’ll begin building the rest of it - 7500 sq ft in total!

We’ve had tonnes of ideas, which could include a yoga studio, a sauna… there’ll be lots of plugs for remote working and we want to provide baby changing in our toilets. Pull up bars, training boards and stretching areas. And much more bouldering… This is your chance to come and shape the direction of our future designs.


By contributing to our target to raise £25,000 you’ll be laying the first bricks in the foundations of our shared future. A Southend where the buzz is back, where there’s loads on offer for youth and adults alike, and where the most vulnerable in our community have opportunities to progress. 

Your money will enable us to complete the build of Indirock phase 1. It’ll mean we can launch early next year, when we’ll invite every one of you to have a climb, enjoy a barista coffee (maybe with one of Hugo’s Pantry’s infamous cakes), then tell us how you’d like us to design the remaining space. 


And then for phase 2

We hope that around 6 months after the launch of phase 1 we’ll unveil the completed Indirock - as designed by you!

With your help, Indirock hopes to support vulnerable young people from Southend through a work-skills training programme in our business. We also hope to see hundreds of visitors a month, socialising, keeping fit and creating a new buzz in our town centre.

We’ll welcome everyone to relax in our cafe and enjoy the climbing, whether or not they’re up for giving it a go themselves. We’ll bring new visitors to the town centre, revitalising a part of town which needs an injection of energy. 


Who’s it for?

Bouldering offers so many benefits: physical, social, mental and emotional.

We want everyone to feel welcome here..

  • Students and our young people are always looking for social activities and pastimes - we’ll work with the local authority to incentivize young people and actively encourage their participation in Indirock
  • We have so many entrepreneurs and freelancers in our area, and now even more working from home - Indirock offers a place for them to work, socialise, exercise and relax
  • We’ll be wheelchair accessible and will do our best to provide classes that enable people with disabilities to enjoy climbing
  • We’ll be accessible for young families with prams and buggies who want to use the facility as a meeting point

Indirock is a space that’s inclusive of everyone who walks through our doors. We’re keen to hear from our community and continually adapt and improve our facility to meet your needs. 

The deeper impact

We’re passionate about bouldering and developing a community which encourages wellness and inclusivity.

We're also driven by a sense of responsibility that we should be sharing opportunities with those who’ve been dealt a rough hand in life.

We're keen to show that it’s not only down to charities but businesses can also do good. Through Indirock we will provide paid training and employment opportunities for vulnerable young people so they can achieve their full potential. Often what’s needed is a hand up, not a hand out.


Our partners 

What’s made this possible is the number of amazing people who’ve joined us on the journey. First was Southend Borough Council - they’ve opened up doors, helped us with seed funding and have encouraged us to go for it from day one. 

Early on we realised we couldn’t do it all ourselves, so we reached out to Rachel, the founder of local bakery Hugo’s Pantry, to see if she’d like to run our cafe for us. Rachel has been like a best friend as well as business partner right from the early days.

Then the Council helped us approach the Victoria Shopping Centre as a venue for Indirock - they’ve been the most open minded and supportive landlords.  

We’ve also struck up conversations with other local businesses such as Welcome Gym, Yoga Factory, Leigh on Sea Brewery (check out the limited edition Indirock beers!), Marine Mammal, Joe & Charlotte, Chai and let’s not forget our multi-talented photographer and videographer, Alfie Winters!

And more important than anything has been the climbing community. Everyone we’ve approached has been so generous in their encouragement and advice, introducing us to friends who could help, and spreading the word about Indirock far and wide. 


Hugos’ Pantry - the perfect coffee

What do you do when you can’t stop thinking about culinary creations, dreaming about taste sensations and spend all your spare time experimenting with flavour combinations? It’s a tough one. I decided to put my whisk where my passion is and start this adventure called Hugo’s Pantry.

For me starting my own business was equal parts terror and excitement. So as well as tasting good, it had to have purpose. At Hugo’s Pantry it’s about the can, not the cannot. Amazing baked goods can be vegan friendly. Awesome cakes can be gluten free and everyone can enjoy a tasty treat, even pups! Anywhere we go, we try to bring something a little different.

Within our first year we have gone from “will anyone like what we do?” to seven regular stockists in the local area. Made to order to online sales. Bespoke event catering and a friendly feature at many local events. We are fortunate enough to have many wonderful repeat customers. Every piece of positive feedback we receive warms our hearts.

We like to give back too. Donating our overstock to Havens Hospice and joining them at their fantastic fundraisers. It’s this ambition to not just work within, but make a positive impact to our local community which brought Emily and I together.  

As soon as the Indirock ethos was laid out, I was excited about the prospect of Hugo’s Pantry contributing. Funnily enough we had just decided that running a cafe was not going to part of HP’s immediate future. However the opportunity to work with such a compassionate and creative woman such as Emily on such a transformative project was too much to resist! It just felt like the perfect next step with the best person / business partner to do it with as even our design thoughts are aligned.


We can’t thank you enough!

By contributing to our target to raise £25,000, you’ll be making this vision a reality. A new venue for the whole community, a Southend where the buzz is back, where there’s loads on offer for youth and adults alike, and where the most vulnerable in our community have opportunities to progress. 



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£100 or more

£100 - family unlimited (RRP £125)

Let's face it, 2020 has been a year of stir craziness... Let your family climb the walls in a new environment with a month's unlimited climbing for two adults and two 5-16 year olds!

£5 or more

£5 - a BIG thank you

A heartfelt thanks and Indirock bumper sticker when you visit us for the first time

£7 or more

7 of 10 claimed

£7 - Sourdough party!

Our lovely friends @sourdoughonsea - who make the best Sourdough concoctions you'll ever taste - have kindly donated this one. 10 lucky people could pick up one of their delicious loaves and a starter kit with instructions to make your own! Delivery within Southend borough only.

£10 or more

£10 - Climb & Coffee

A climb with a coffee from our Hugo's Pantry coffee shop, which you can use in phase 1 or 2. You choose. Plus a bumper sticker to say thank you!

£15 or more

£15 - Gift Card

Treat someone special and let them choose what to spend their £15 gift card for Indirock on! A great Christmas gift, stocking filler or treat for someone who likes to try new things!

£20 or more

£20 - Intro to climbing for two

A climbing pass for you and a friend along with your own private intro class, plus an Indirock bumper sticker. Use in phase 1 or 2, you choose.

£20 or more

£20 - Indirock experience for two

Make your first Indirock experience a day out. Two climbing passes, two coffees and two sweet treats from our killer cafe Hugo's Pantry.

£25 or more

£25 - 3 x Peak Climbs

Come and enjoy Indirock at a time that suits you, with 3 peak climbs for a bargain price. And you can choose if you use your visits in phase 1 or 2!

£25 or more

£25 - Family entry!

Peak time family entry for two adults and two 5-16 year olds - use your pass in phase 1 or 2!

£25 or more

£25 - Gift Card

Treat someone special and let them choose what to spend it on! A great stocking filler, Christmas gift or treat for the climber in your life!

£30 or more

£30 - 1 month unlimited bouldering!

This reward entitles you to one month’s unlimited bouldering at Indirock, use during either phase 1 or 2. See you there!

£35 or more

1 of 6 claimed

£35 - Emma Twyford Routesetting Experience

Your chance to observe Emma Twyford route-set for us - see the magic happen!

£35 or more

1 of 6 claimed

£35 - Workshop with Team GB's Laurence Morgan

This reward entitles you to a Workshop with Team GB paraclimber Laurence Morgan. "Personal limits: how to find your stretch without comparing yourself to others."⠀

£40 or more

£40 - Limited edition Indirock t-shirt & visit

Limited edition Indirock t-shirt and bumper sticker, PLUS a free visit to indirock phase 1

£40 or more

5 of 40 claimed

£40 - Limited edition Indirock beers & visit

With this reward you can enjoy 6 limited edition Indirock beers, brewed in collaboration with Leigh on Sea Brewery, PLUS a free visit to Indirock phase 1 for you and a friend. We're brewing a beautiful hazy pale, session strength - perfect for kicking back after a climb. Free delivery within Southend borough or collect when you visit us.

£50 or more

£50 - Limited edition Indirock sweatshirt & visit

Limited edition Indirock sweatshirt and bumper sticker; plus free visit to indirock phase 1

£80 or more

£80 - 12 peak visits (RRP £120)

If you're into climbing or know you soon will be, grab a bargain 12 peak-time visits to Indirock phase 1 or 2. With an RRP of £120 you'll be making plenty of savings!

£100 or more

£100 - 3 months unlimited bouldering

Another bargain - three months’ unlimited bouldering in Indirock phase 1 or 2 (RRP £135). This is capped at one visit per day.

£150 or more

£150 - Name a hold & unlimited climbing

Have your name immortalised on one of our climbing holds and when we retire it from action, you can keep it for your home climbing wall! PLUS you'll get unlimited visits for three months in phase 1 or 2 (capped at one visit per day).

£250 or more

£250 - design a latte & unlimited climbing

Indirock is going to offer an array of delicious hot drinks and sweet treats thanks to Hugo's Pantry, our wonderful coffee shop. This reward will see Rachel, the owner of Hugo's Pantry, design a new latte in your honour, and you'll get to choose the name! PLUS you'll get unlimited visits for three months in phase 1 or 2 for you AND your friends* *One visit per day, a different guest each visit.

£400 or more

£400 - a year's unlimited climbing! (RRP £540)

Love Indirock? This reward will get you a year’s free climbing for one person (RRP £540) plus a limited edition t-shirt to acknowledge you as a superfan!

£500 or more

£500 - Business package - 5 x visits for staff

If you run a small business and would love to see your name in the coolest new venue in Southend, PLUS get your staff into a fantastic & social sport, this is the reward for you. Your business name will be printed on our “thank you wall”, plus you'll receive 5 x visits to Indirock phase 1 for your employees

£500 or more

1 of 4 claimed

£500 - name a zone + unlimited climbing

Bagsy a climbing zone and give it a name that'll put a smile on your face every time you visit... PLUS you'll get unlimited visits for three months in phase 1 or 2 for you AND your friends* *One visit per day, a different guest each visit.

£1,500 or more

£1500 - 5 years' unlimited climbing!!! (RRP £2700)

This is for climbing fans!!! You'll receive unlimited bouldering for one person at Indirock for 5 years (RRP £2700) PLUS a limited-edition sweatshirt to acknowledge you as a superfan!

£2,500 or more

£2500 - Business package - away day for 10 staff

If you're stumped as to how to motivate your team, we have a great idea for you! Why not sign up to our Business Away Day reward - get your staff moving, using their minds as well as their bodies, and trying something they may not have experienced before. Bouldering is social, fun and stress-relieving. This reward will get you your business logo painted on our "thank you wall" and an awesome away day designed for up to 10 of your employees!

£5,000 or more

£5000 - Business VIP package!

This is for the VIP's! This reward includes: - Your business logo painted on our “thank you wall” - Your branding displayed in the venue and a speaker slot for you at our launch event - VIP tickets to future Indirock events - Unlimited visits to Indirock phase 1 for your employees (up to 5 individual employees per month) OR a tailored away day with refreshments and goodie bags for 10 of your staff.

£45 or more

8 of 8 claimed

£45 - Emma Twyford climbing masterclass

This reward is limited as it's so awesome! Get yourself a climbing masterclass at Indirock with Emma Twyford (max. 4 people in masterclass)

£45 or more

4 of 4 claimed

£45 - Gaz Parry routesetting masterclass

This awesome reward will get you to a Routesetting masterclass at Indirock with Gaz Parry (max. 4 people in masterclass)

£65 or more

6 of 6 claimed

£65 - 1:1 Masterclass with Emma Twyford

Another limited reward - get yourself to Indirock for a 1:1 climbing masterclass with Emma Twyford - the first woman to climb the UK's toughest outdoor route!

£300 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£300 - name a loo! & unlimited climbing

This is a good one! Fancy getting a loo named in your honour? The this reward is for you! You can choose a name for one of our toilets PLUS you'll get unlimited visits for three months in phase 1 or 2 for you AND your friends* *One visit per day, a different guest each visit.

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