Business venture

The passion for puzzles inspires the Bangor brothers’ new business venture

One of the first businesses to benefit from the Welsh Government’s Town Center Entrepreneurship Fund, piloted in four North Wales towns, is up and running

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

North Wales Minister Lesley Griffiths called to see the business during her visit to Bangor.

Based in the former Council offices just off the 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 halls with the latest technology and equipment, while a £10,000 grant from the Welsh Government’s Town Center Entrepreneurship Fund will cover the cost of initial rental. Two new jobs have been created.

Jordan Williams said: “Nick and I are passionate about our hometown of Bangor and our love of puzzles. We have often enjoyed escape rooms when visiting other cities and towns so it only made 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 allowed us to fill a gap in the market and create a fun and affordable activity for people of all ages. We designed all the games ourselves and can’t wait to welcome 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 Executive Sion said: ‘It’s really encouraging to see new businesses opening up on Bangor’s high street. We are happy to work closely with the Welsh Government to provide the financial assistance that 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.

North Wales Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “It is great to visit this new business here in the center of Bangor today. Our city centers have great potential and we want to support new projects. 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 Bangor Xscape Rooms all the best for the future.

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

The £20,000 Development Bank of Wales loan came from the £30m Wales Micro Loan Fund which is 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 relocate to Wales, can apply.

Xscape Bangor will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets can be reserved online at www.xscapebangor.co.uk.