Welcome to Access Techniques Ltd – quality Rope Access Training based in the centre of Sheffield.

Initially we’ll be using this blog to keep folk informed as we get the training centre up and running. In the longer term the plan is to post regular tips, advice and the odd special offer.

But first, a bit of background… Access Techniques may be a new firm but we are by no means new to the business.

Sheffield, along with Aberdeen, remains one of two centres for the Rope Access trade in the UK. Several of the big contracting firms (CAN, HRS etc) are based in or near the city, and there have been IRATA training courses running in the city pretty much every week for almost fifteen years. For the last few years Aide and I have been the trainers at the longest running training centre – ATS, part of The Access Group. When they ceased trading back in February, we were out of a job and a good number of abseilers were left looking for another training centre. Pretty much immediately we got together and discussed starting up on our own.

The first hurdle was to find a building. A good venue is crucial to good training – having trained in many venues over the years I know that, no matter how good the trainers are, how much you get done will depend on the venue. From our shopping list and initial search it looked like it could be a long job – we needed height more than floorspace, and ideally a roof of the right era that would give us some useful steelwork. Sheffield has a lot of old, empty industrial units, but most were too big, not high enough or lacked a decent roof. Eventually we found somewhere as close to perfect as we could have hoped for; getting on for 12m high indoors, with a bigger outside tower,  great steelwork at varying heights, all in a handy location and at the right price. With such a good venue so good it was hard not to get excited about the project and so here we are!

Things are in early stages, but so far we’ve got the most important bits; the venue and the equipment. There’s some work to be done yet but mainly its a case of jumping through a few legal hoops and battling some red tape, the most significant being audited by IRATA. As soon as that gets underway we can start setting dates and taking bookings, so keep an eye on here and the Courses page – we’re aiming for the first course to run as soon as possible, likely July.

In the meantime we’ll be working on getting the unit spick-and-span and fully rigged for everyone from first-time Level Ones to the most hoary Level Threes. We’re pretty confident this has the potential to be the best training space in the country, and want to get it right from the word go. So stay tuned – photos coming soon!


Adam Long