Business venture

Passion for puzzles inspires Bangor brothers’ new business venture

One of the first companies to benefit from the Welsh Government’s Town Center Entrepreneurship Fund currently piloting in four towns in North Wales is operational.

Bangor brothers Jordan and Nick Williams opened Bangor’s first escape rooms, turning their passion for puzzles into a new business venture that will provide hours of fun for families and local tourists.

North Wales Minister Lesley Griffiths called to see the company during a visit to Bangor.

Based in the former Council offices just off High Street in Bangor, Xscape Rooms Bangor opened in November. A £ 20,000 micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales has been used to equip the three rooms with the latest technology and equipment, while a £ 10,000 grant from the Welsh Government’s Town Center Entrepreneurship Fund will cover the costs of initial rentals. Two new jobs were created.

Jordan Williams said, “Nick and I are passionate about our hometown of Bangor and our love of puzzles. We have often enjoyed the escape rooms when visiting other cities, so it made perfect sense to start our own business here in Bangor as there is nothing like it here.

“Funding from the Development Bank and the Town Center Entrepreneurship Fund has allowed us to fill a gap in the market and create a fun and affordable activity for people of all ages. We have designed all the games ourselves and look forward to welcoming our first customers.

Jordan and Nick Williams were introduced to Sion Wynne of the Development Bank of Wales by Aled Owen of The Enterprise Hub. Investment Director Sion said: “It is really encouraging to see new businesses opening up on the main street of Bangor. We are happy to work closely with the Welsh Government to provide the financial help entrepreneurs and businesses like Nick and Jordan need to start and grow a business in Bangor, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl or Wrexham. We wish them every success.

Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths said: “It is great to visit this new company here in central Bangor today. Our city centers have great potential and we want to support new businesses. We know the pandemic has had an impact on inner cities and I am happy that we are already seeing the results of some of the measures we have put in place, including the inner city entrepreneurship fund. I wish the Bangor Xscape theaters all the best for the future.

David apJohn Williams, National Contracts Manager for Business Wales added: “Traditionally our city centers have been the beating heart of local communities and it is fantastic that Business Wales is able to help entrepreneurs like Nick and Jordan to turning their passion into a new business, introducing new experiences and visitors to downtown Bangor.

The Development Bank of Wales’ £ 20,000 loan came from the £ 30million Wales Micro Loan Fund funded by the Welsh government. Loans between £ 1,000 and £ 50,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from one to ten years. Small businesses, sole traders and social enterprises based in Wales, or wishing to locate in Wales, can apply.