Hazlewoods, Harrison Clark and The Royal Bank of Scotland work together to advise Airkix in the development of a new £4m Skydiving Simulatior in Manchester

Published: Friday 29 January 2010

Hazlewoods, Harrison Clark and The Royal Bank of Scotland work together to advise Airkix in the development of a new £4m Skydiving Simulator in Manchester


Niche operator Airkix has opened its second UK vertical wind tunnel and indoor skydiving centre at TraffordQuaysLeisureVillage in Manchester. The company has successfully operated a similar facility in Milton Keynes since 2005.  To support the build and installation costs Airkix were advised by Hazlewoods LLP and Harrison Clark with The Royal Bank of Scotland (“RBS”) providing Airkix with a loan facility of up to £2.5m.

Airkix uses four giant fans to pump 1.7 million cubic feet of air upwards into a flight chamber at speeds of up to 170 mph, enabling anyone aged 4-104 to simulate the experience of a free fall descent.  The wind tunnel has a 14 ft diameter and 35ft high chamber, making it the UK’s largest indoor skydiving centre by volume. 

Up to 55,000 people each year are expected to visit the Airkix attraction, which has also created 20 new jobs.  Airkix CEO Simon Ward commented:  

“Simulated skydiving is a fantastic sport both for absolute beginners and experienced jumpers.  The Airkix Manchester site represents a major expansion of our business and we are very excited by this prospect.  We spent over two years looking for a suitable location to open a second site and decided on Trafford Quays due to its excellent transport links and its cluster or existing leisure facilities.”    

The company was advised by Andy Brookes who led the Corporate Finance Team of Chartered Accountants Hazlewoods LLP and Rod Thomas from law firm Harrison Clark in Worcester. Phil Taylor from RBS worked with Airkix and its advisors to ensure the right kind of funding could be put into place to develop the project and secure the assets for Airkix. 

Andy Brookes and Rod Thomas have worked with the company since the idea of developing the first tunnel in Milton Keynes was formed, helping with the set up of the company, the raising of the money needed to build and develop the first tunnel and the growth phase of the business.  The build of the second tunnel is a very exciting phase for the company and having experienced flights in the tunnel, can see why it is such a popular attraction! 

Phil Taylor, Relationship Director at RBS, added:

“Airkix is a highly successful, innovative business and has been very successful in turning its site at Xscape, Milton Keynes into a major visitor attraction. It has a very strong management team and is ambitiously growing its operations in the UK. We are delighted to be supporting a growing business.”

Left to right:  Simon Ward, CEO of Airkix, Andy Brookes, Hazlewoods LLP (top), Rod Thomas, Harrison Clark (bottom) and Phil Taylor, The Royal Bank of Scotland.

For further information please contact Andrew Brookes on 01242 246670 or by email: andrew.brookes@hazlewoods.co.uk