Project Escape plans to add more pieces to its puzzle

A leading escape room company, Project Escape, is powering through the pandemic with a growing team and exciting expansion plans for the North East.  

Following the support of Teesside University’s Launchpad and DigitalCity programmes, the entertainment company has brought a new lease of life to Middlesbrough’s Dundas Arcade and is keen to replicate the same model to share its thrilling experiences with those further afield.

Since opening its doors in 2016, the attraction has welcomed thousands of participants, including countless corporate companies such as Barclaycard, Nissan and Holiday Inn.

Its collection of themed rooms sees participants descend into different worlds of ghosts, villains and mystery, in which they’re given a set time limit to discover clues, solve puzzles and use their collective knowledge to ‘escape’ out of the locked room.

Continuing to operate throughout the Coronavirus crisis with safety and social distancing measures in place, the venue offers a safe form of entertainment for people to enjoy while remaining inside their social bubbles.

A recent visitor said: “Myself and my fiancé have done quite a few escape rooms but Project Escape go the extra mile to make the experience more unique for the participants. The staff were amazing making sure everything was organised, safe and secure during the COVID pandemic.”

Despite the initial lockdown being a challenge, it presented an opportunity for the business to focus on its direction. With that came the employment of three new members of staff and some due diligence on potential new venues across the North East including Thirsk, Whitby, Hartlepool and Sunderland.

Plans are also underway to temporarily transform into ‘Project Scare’ for a brand-new Halloween project. The Dundas Scare Tour, set to launch on 16 October, will involve participants embarking on a gruesome ghost hunt across the entire venue.  

Co-director Graham Huntley said “What started off as a bit of fun designing games from our start-up office in Teesside University’s Victoria Building with no more than £3K between us, escalated into a double figure turnover and the keys to our Dundas unit within just one year.”

“Since then we’ve gone from strength to strength and despite the current climate are continuing to strive towards our goal to open more sites nationally and aspire to be the Disney of escape rooms.”

Graham adds: “DigitalCity has been instrumental to our growth, not just through qualifying for their Accelerator grant, but also due to their continued support and introductions to high quality local businesses. They’ve offered us solid information throughout our growth and we would encourage any growing business or start-up to utilise their expertise.”

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