The Good, The Bad, and our Solution

Dunkeld is just north of Perth in Scotland and it’s a pretty great place, it has culture, history, eateries, hills, trails, lochs, and rivers. But it lacks a decent training facility where you can work on getting good at doing your thing. We want to provide that in Unit 7 strength and conditioning and climbing gym - a home for the local climbing scene, a sociable space for anybody, no matter what their sport or exercise preference, to work out, to train and/or to drink coffee.

Our aim is a welcoming, inclusive-to-all, modern and efficient training facility with a dedicated training for climbing area. We will of course keep the therapy room, which can continue to be used by local healthcare and wellbeing practitioners offering a range of therapies and services.


The shop, In Situ Climbing will also be relocating to the new premises, continuing to supply more quality clothing and equipment.  To this we are adding a comfy area to enjoy a coffee and read a book or plan an adventure.

We would like to encourage reluctant exercisers from our community, and beyond, to join us for group training and classes, where we can give friendly and informed advice on suitable training and exercise, as well as how to manage or reduce injury risk, or address any other concerns about physical training.

What's the back story?

In Situ Climbing opened in July 2016 and was originally two separate businesses - the shop and the therapy room. It all happened quite fast, it seemed like one minute we were casually drinking a beer in the pub speculating about whether such a venture would work in the shop that was available on the high street in Dunkeld, the next minute we were open and trading. As it happens, it coincided with Alison beginning her degree in S&C at Abertay university in Dundee, which may have been unfortunate timing, but it did provide the motivation to improve time management skills.

Things went pretty well, and we became adept at spinning plates and staying sane, mostly. But we were incubating an idea, we needed something more to reach our full potential, we needed a gym, a physical training facility that the good people of Dunkeld, and anyone else for that matter, could get behind and reach their full potential. We looked around for suitable premises. It had to be in Dunkeld, the need was there, the town and community were close to our hearts, but there was nowhere that would do. Dunkeld is an old, old town, it’s beautiful and historic and interesting but it doesn’t have many modern facilities for an ambitious business like ours.

So, Alison popped a cheeky email to Atholl Estates, a local landowner, and asked if they had any plans for industrial development in the area. The planets must have been aligned that day, because as it happened, they did have an area earmarked by the existing Cally industrial units, tucked away right beneath one of the best climbing venues in Scotland. Never having taken on a project quite like this, it
was a pleasant surprise to find that they were willing to hold our hand and give us the benefit of their experience, rather than just getting a commitment and leaving us to it.

What followed was 18 months of learning a whole new skillset. The meetings, the research, the planning, management, and coordination, it was wild, but it was exciting, and we have never felt so passionate and driven to make something happen until this. The opportunity to collaborate with other small business owners, from health and wellbeing practitioners to outdoor activity providers, has opened up a whole new area of potential. The encouragement, support and input from friends
and strangers alike has been both humbling and inspiring.

Unit 7 was scheduled to open in July/August 2020. Then COVID-19 happened, and the build and everything else was paused. We’re philosophical about it, it could be worse. We’re still here, we are adapting and finding creative solutions like so many other businesses. Now we’re aiming to open in SPRING 2021 and any updates, should you be interested, will appear here as well as throughout our social media.

The Environment Issue

Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of modern business and is something we are very conscious of. We are lucky to be in a position whereby we can work quite closely with Atholl Estates to create a contemporary facility with an eye to the future, with renewable energy topping the list for our heating system.

Then there is the cardio equipment, which we would very much like to get from SportsArt - The Green Fitness Company.  Not only are their machines pretty nice to look at, and have all the functionality you’d expect, but they also use technology that can harness up to 74% of human energy, converting watts generated through exercise into AC power and sending it back through the facility power grid to offset energy consumption, effectively reducing our carbon footprint further. How cool is that?!

In Situ Climbing Unit 7.jpg

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