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Above Adventure

Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland

Above Adventure

West of Scotland’s first fully wheelchair-accessible climbing wall

Category B

The former Grange Free Church is a red sandstone building designed by Robert Samson Ingram in 1879, who is believed to have designed or altered 28 churches, mostly in Kilmarnock. When first opened, it was described as a ‘handsome cruciform structure with a spire of 140ft’. The church and the adjoining church hall fell out of use when worship stopped in 2008. Both buildings were later acquired by a private owner for conversion to residential use, however, no development was forthcoming.

Above Adventure, a charity and social enterprise, recognised the building’s potential as an indoor climbing centre. They set about developing the case for regenerating the building and began fundraising for acquisition and capital costs.

Eight years later, in 2023, the doors finally opened for business. The centre is a fully accessible, inclusive and welcoming place, where people of all ages and abilities can try climbing and bouldering. Balancing heritage with the new use, the magnificent stained-glass window has been conserved as a beautiful feature, now viewable from a variety of vantage points. There are also a range of new facilities, including a café, sensory room, changing rooms and showers.


Images: Before and after of the stained-glass window at Above Adventure.

This project has benefited from AHF support at multiple stages over the years. Early-stage viability funding assisted with the cost of a feasibility study, two project development grants assisted with the cost of design team fees, and two loans helped enable the large-scale capital project.

To find out more, please visit Above Adventure.

AHF Funding

Project Viability Grant - £3,000 (2015)

Project Development Grant - £20,000 (2016)

Loan - £59,000 (2017)

Project Development Grant - £20,000 (2018)

Loan - £150,000 (2020)


Images: Before and after of the bouldering facilities at Above Adventure.

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