Nottinghamshire skydiving centre Skydive Langar has welcomed a record number of new customers to its Vale of Belvoir facility as the so-called ‘experience economy’ makes its comeback post lockdown.
The skydiving company, which attracts custom to the area from across the UK and beyond thanks to its reputation as a centre of excellence, reopened in late July in line within government guidelines. It has since seen the number of participants in the sport increase by 20% compared to previous years.
The majority of new visitors are tandem skydivers, meaning they jump from the aircraft attached to an instructor as a one-off experience, often completed to raise money for charity. There are also experienced skydivers who have made Nottingham their new base as other centres remain closed.
Josh Carratt is one of five investors to the airfield who joined Dave and Angela Hickling as joint-owners just before the pandemic hit. He said:
“It’s been a tough few months for experiential businesses like ours. We’re completely reliant on the ability to open our doors and welcome customers so lockdown obviously presented a lot of challenges for us.
“With that said, we were able to use the lockdown period to reflect on areas of opportunity for the skydiving centre, investing in things such as new decoration, improved facilities and updates to our plans and processes that made things even better than before for our customers once we were able to reopen.
“In terms of Covid-19 related updates, we have of course made all of the necessary steps and laid out by the government to ensure everyone who visits passes through strict health checks and is kept safe and well throughout their time with us.”
Skydive Langar has operated from the airfield just outside of Langar village since 1977. It is home to British team Chimera which will represent Team GB at the Skydiving World Championships in July 2021 in Russia. Laura Hampton is a member of Chimera and has been jumping at Langar since 2008. She said:
“There’s really nothing I’d rather do with my spare time than spend it at Langar jumping out of planes! And it’s really awesome to see so many new people coming to enjoy that experience.
“I started jumping as part of a charity skydive while at uni in Loughborough and have loved it ever since. I’m really proud to be representing Team GB at the world championship next year and grateful to Skydive Langar for all of their support.”
Skydive Langar is open for business every day except Christmas Day and will continue to operate within government guidelines for Covid-19. More information can be found at www.skydivelangar.co.uk or call 01949 860878.
•Photo – Pete Harries at Skydive Langar