Having the highest household spend on outdoor equipment in the country, and more than 200 outdoor equipment businesses, Sheffield is undoubtedly the UK’s Outdoor City – and this year, more than ever, is building upon that reputation.
Last year an independent study, carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, found that outdoor recreation in Sheffield generates more than £53m in economic output a year, in addition to engaging people in outdoor activity and generating significant health benefits.
Now, Sheffield is gearing up for one of the key events under the Outdoor City banner – the Reward Health Cliffhanger, taking place on 11 and 12 July in Millhouses Park.
Cliffhanger, now in its ninth year, is the UK’s biggest outdoor festival for outdoor people, and draws in climbers, bikers, runners and more from across the country.
Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “Cliffhanger is an action-packed weekend, which perfectly showcases Sheffield’s excellence as the UK’s premier Outdoor City.
“The festival is about inspiring people to test their limits and to try new activities, all set within the stunning landscape of Millhouses Park.
“We know that the outdoor industry is huge here in Sheffield. So, in addition to a huge range of activities and demonstrations, there will also be a selection of retailers in the Bargain Area, enabling people to stock up on the kit they need for their favourite pursuit.”
Businesses and organisations set to have a stand in the Bargain Area include Alpkit, the British Mountaineering Council, Decathlon, Crag X, Made By Scavenger, Naked Ape, Probalm and Russell’s Bicycle Shed.
Several local charities will also be exhibiting and organising activities and demonstrations, including Edale Mountain Rescue, the Friends of Millhouses Park, National Trust, the Peak District National Park Authority, the RSPB, the Salmon and Trout Association, Sheffield Sea Cadets, Sheffield Wildlife Trust and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Meanwhile, hungry festivalgoers will be able to choose from an eclectic range of caterers, providing refreshments including pizza, Thai food, burgers, pulled pork, BBQ food, Mexican street food, churros, pies, samosas, ices and locally-sourced meat from Whirlow Hall Farm. There will also be a licensed bar.
Activities and demonstrations include angling, bike polo, bowling, caving, climbing, the Crag X pull-up competition, duck racing, golf, kiting, kayaking, an obstacle course, parkour, scuba diving, tennis and a zip line.
One of the highlights of the festival will undoubtedly be the British Bouldering Championships, where festival-goers can see the very best climbers in the UK compete.
People travelling from across the UK for Cliffhanger will also be able to camp, at a temporary campsite being set up at Abbeydale Sports Club, less than a mile from Millhouses Park.
Cliffhanger is organised by Sheffield City Council in conjunction with Heason Events. Sponsors this year are Reward Health, XScape, Skydive Hibaldstowe, Haybrook, Heart and Decathlon.
Reward Health will also build its own event village within the festival, providing fun activities and offers for families visiting the show.
Coun Bramall added: “This year is a bumper year for Sheffield’s status as an Outdoor City, with nationally and internationally-renowned events such as the Climbing Works International Masters, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, the Steel City Downhill, the International Adventure Conference and the European Outdoor Summit.
“We are building on our reputation, rebranding Sheffield as the Outdoor City, and using this unique offer to bring in more business and tourism.
“With two thirds of the city boundaries within the Peak District National Park, a greater spend per head on outdoor equipment than the rest of the UK, an above average participation rate in outdoor pursuits and more than 200 outdoor businesses, the outdoor economy has huge significance to our city – and Cliffhanger is just one great example of just how exciting this can be.”
For more information visit www.cliff-hanger.co.uk
Early bird tickets, costing £5 for adults, are on sale until Sunday 26 June at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cliffhanger-2015-tickets-17275382133. Accompanied children under the age of 16 go free.