A sense of adventure

Expanding company: Luke Gaskill with Anthony Caton and Andy Hill at Yamba UK open day
Expanding company: Luke Gaskill with Anthony Caton and Andy Hill at Yamba UK open day
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A Lancashire company has changed its name and moved into new headquarters. DAVID NOWELL reports

An expanding Lancashire firm was not short of inspiration when it was looking for a new name.

Founders Diane and Andy Hill thought of one of their favourite destinations in the world – and so Yamba UK was born.

Diane and Andy’s outdoor activity company started life as Hill Climb Activities in 2004.

The firm specialises in management, education and training programmes.

Diane said: “A number of people commented that they thought we only climbed hills and so we looked for something that did not label us in terms of activities.

“Yamba is a small coastal town in New South Wales we visited around 10 years ago.

“We liked it so much that it stuck in our heads until we had a use for the name!”

The company, which runs adventure training and holidays, both home and abroad, has now moved into new premises off Coote Lane, Lostock Hall.

It has also been appointed the North West distributor of Tiderace Sea Kayaks. The kayaks sell for up to £2,400 each.

Diane is delighted with the company’s progress.

Diane and Andy run the firm with the director of programmes, Luke Gaskill, and other help when needed.

Customers include local colleges, training organisations, private groups and individuals, charities, and schools.

Yamba also runs sea kayaking expeditions and trips.

And last but not least, it runs programmes for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Diane said: “We are a small team, but we work really well together.

“It’s a great job and we enjoy what we do.

“We love working for ourselves.”

Diane and the team also get a great kick from seeing a trip or exercise go well.

She said: “We know ourselves how much better you feel when you are outside.

“When you see a group performing an activity really well together, you and they feel 100 per cent better.”

Yamba showed off its new premises at a recent open day – and was delighted with the response as dozens of people turned up.

The firm’s new Lostock Hall HQ is being stocked with sea kayaking and river products such as buoyancy aids, paddles, helmets, etc.

Said Diane: “One thing we have always held dear is our belief we are part of the local community and, as such, all our business – i.e printing, uniforms are supplied locally.

“Wherever possible, we always buy locally and always have done.

“Our work is wherever the client is based or is able to travel to – the Lakes, North Wales, Yorkshire, and so on.

“We also have a mobile service where we can take activities to clients such as schools and colleges.

“This is ideal for those who do not wish to travel and to reduce costs.”

To contact the firm, visit www.yamba.org.uk