October’s Around Town Business Networking event was hosted by inspirational entrepreneur Euan Noble, owner/director of ROKT Activity Centre in Brighouse. This blog post covers the highlights from Thursday’s networking event, as well as some exciting news for the future of ROKT!
We kicked off the evening with open networking at 47 Grains, a bistro-style restaurant upstairs from the lively Miller’s bar. Both of these stylish eateries are part of the ROKT group, so their names are not surprising considering the climbing wall and activity centre inhabits the iconic Sugden’s Flour Mill in the heart of Brighouse.
Our host, Euan Noble, showed off the culinary skills of the 47 Grains chefs by laying on exquisite nibbles for his guests. But these snacks weren’t likely to detract from the offering of his very own pHure Gin and tonic. pHure Gin is what you get when a bunch of incredibly talented scientists pull together to make booze.
Nothing about this gin is left to chance; Dr Euan (who has a PhD in Chemistry) has created a flagship blend of botanicals using advanced manufacturing techniques. This craft gin gets its unique, delicate flavour by using reduced pressure distillation, a method that’s not only forgiving with the botanical flavourings, but also kind to the environment!
After sampling the food and drink on offer at 47 Grains, the Around Town crowd of local businesspeople moved into the function room, where Euan told the story of ROKT; how he transformed a 19th century flour mill into an activity centre which attracts thrill-seekers from across the country.
Euan told the story of how, 7 years ago while sat in a pub with a friend, he announced, “Let’s open a climbing wall.” We watched a couple of promotional videos which highlighted some of the key milestones in the ROKT journey; from unveiling the first climbing wall in 2011, through to opening the 36m outdoor climbing wall, crowned the “highest man-made climbing wall” in the UK.
The ROKT activity centre also boasts other facilities, providing something for everyone; from adrenaline junkies to the less-daring, and adults and children alike. The disused flour mill is now home to:
The ROKT journey to date has not been without incident. As with all businesses, we come up against daily challenges. Probably none so extreme as the floods of December 2015, which plagued Brighouse over the Christmas period. ROKT’s idyllic riverside location caused chaos when the River Calder burst its banks. As we walked around the activity centre, Euan pointed out the height that the floodwaters reached at their peak.
Despite widespread devastation across the town (Millers bar was also severely affected), the resilience of the locals and the ROKT staff shone through as they clubbed together to repair and restore the town. Now, three years later, you’d never guess that this vibrant hub of activity had been submerged under almost 6 ft of floodwater.
The future looks bright for ROKT and Euan’s other businesses. He told the Around Town networkers of his plans to incorporate aerial trampolines into the mixture of activities on offer at ROKT. He’s looking into constructing a series of trampolines between the two grain silos, going up to a height of 31 m! We can’t wait to have a go!
On behalf of Around Town, we’d like to thank Euan and the staff at 47 Grains, Millers and ROKT for accommodating our group and sharing their story. If you’d like to find out more about the activities on offer at ROKT, head over to their website!
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The photography for the event was brought to you by the wonderfully talented Sophie Ransome. Sophie specialises in lifestyle photography and works with clients to capture natural, relaxed moments. For more information and to view Sophie’s portfolio, head over to Sophie Ransome Photography.