Bangor scores points with new technology designed to electrify the high street

An award-winning smartphone platform designed to drive interest, footfall and spending in local high streets and town centers has launched in Northern Ireland’s newest town, Bangor, ahead of an immediate rollout in the key towns of the district.

Designed to put consumers and businesses in control, Roam Local is a social media-like platform designed to connect communities, improve safety and well-being, and support local businesses.

Powered by GPS, the revolutionary business platform allows users to do everything from researching local retail businesses and hospitality, to making plans, recommending their favorite businesses to friends and creating groups safe to move, shop and play safely.

Register to our daily newsletter

Rachel Armstrong, Owner, The Guillemot Kitchen Café Winebar, Frank Shivers, Board Member, Bangor Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Bartlett, Founder, Roam Local app, Glyn Roberts, Managing Director, Retail NI, Stephen Lennie, Owner, The Yogurt Tree and Louis Nelson, Head Barista, The Yogurt Tree. Also Karl Craig, Barista, The Red Berry Coffee House and Eatery, David Ervin, General Manager, The Red Berry Coffee House and Eatery and Jacqueline McKeown, Owner, Curious Candy

Helping to build loyalty and encourage repeat visits, Roam Local users will be able to see the best deals and experiences available in towns across the borough, from Holywood and Ards to Comber and Donaghadee, through notifications generated by their ” favorite hotspots, identified by the application.

Already available in Co Durham, where founding entrepreneur, former professional jumping jockey Andrew Bartlett grew up, as well as in the Tees Valley, Yorkshire and other parts of England, Roam Local has over 500,000 subscribers to date, as well as support from leading councils, chambers of commerce and business improvement districts.

With support from the Bangor Chamber of Commerce, Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Ards and the North Down Borough Council, Bangor was chosen for the initial NI rollout of Roam Local because of its potential to quickly revive its economy. hospitality and retail in the wake of the pandemic.

It is hoped the app will act as a digital catalyst to support the city’s ambitious £124million regeneration plans.

Glyn Roberts, Managing Director, Retail NI, Rachel Armstrong, Owner, The Guillemot Kitchen Café Winebar and Andrew Bartlett, Founder, Roam Local app

Roam Local founder Andrew Bartlett said: “Any shop, cafe, pub, restaurant or venue, anywhere, is already listed on the platform, and any business can raise their profile and promote themselves. on Roam using digital marketing tools to engage with the local community, business travelers and tourists.

“Roam Local is most effective when a site’s businesses and other stakeholders come together to celebrate what’s on offer – and I’m delighted that Roam can contribute to the great efforts being made in Bangor.

The Roam Local app, which allows users to access information about entertainment options, find new places to go and receive personalized offers and rewards, has already won several awards, including Best Travel App locale 2022 at the UK Enterprise Awards and Technology Product of the Year at Restaurant and Takeaway 2021, Europe’s largest hospitality event.

Andrew explained: “This dynamic, award-winning platform helps consumers find what they want when they need it and enables businesses to market and communicate directly with them, rewarding loyalty and ensuring they come back for more. It is truly a remarkable digital marketing solution that helps connect consumers and businesses into one community.

Bangor Chamber of Commerce Board Member Frank Shivers, Retail NI Managing Director Glyn Roberts, and Roam Local App Founder Andrew Bartlett

Roam Local gathers information on all hotspots including opening hours, images and maps of places of public interest including bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, gyms and heritage and culture to help people plan a day or an evening.

It also allows individuals to share their location with secure groups of friends or colleagues so they can stay together and plan their trips, and by understanding behavioral anomalies between friends, the app can send safety alerts to the rest of a group if someone wanders off or gets lost.

Retail NI Managing Director Glyn Roberts continued: “The pandemic has shown us that there is a new appreciation for thriving local neighborhoods, high streets and town centers and the role bricks and mortar businesses play. mortar” to make a destination worth living or visiting.

“Bangor is starting to blossom and I am confident that digital technology, such as the exciting Roam Local app, will be the way forward to help connect businesses looking to market with existing and new customers eager to know. more about what their community has to offer.

David Ervin, Managing Director, The Red Berry Coffee House and Eatery, Glyn Roberts, Managing Director, Retail NI and Andrew Bartlett, Founder, Roam Local app

Bangor Chamber of Commerce President Geoff Thompson added, “We look forward to the rollout that will support our continued local relaunch by providing businesses with a cost effective way to promote their products and services to a local and engaged audience. in full growth.

“Working together, we can help businesses register with the Roam platform, encourage local residents and visitors to download the app, and shine a light on the many great stores, cafes and other businesses that operate in Bangor. .”

The app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices and businesses wishing to sign up can visit roam-local.co.uk.

Claiming his list of Roam Local apps, Ken Sharp, owner of the Salty Dog Hotel and Restaurant in Bangor, said, “The Roam app has the power to help Bangor’s transformation by empowering local businesses to better promote. It’s a great marketing tool for us to keep in touch with our customers and update them regularly on all our news, menus and activities. I recommend other businesses to sign up as well so that together we can harness its potential for the benefit of all.

A dedicated Roam Local office has been established in Bangor to help businesses and consumers find out more at the former Danske Bank premises at 77, The Old Market Place, Main Street, Bangor.

Lance B. Holton