A passion for puzzles inspires Bangor brothers’ new business venture

Starting a business
L-R Sion Wynne (DBW) Lesley Griffiths (Minister for North Wales) Nick Williams (Xscape Rooms)

One of the first businesses to benefit from the Welsh Government’s town centre entrepreneurship fund being 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 new business venture that will provide hours of fun for local families and tourists.

Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths called in to see the business while visiting Bangor.

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

Jordan Williams said: “Both Nick and I are passionate about our home-town of Bangor and our love of puzzles. We’ve often enjoyed Escape Rooms when visiting other towns and cities so it made absolute sense to launch our own venture here in Bangor as there is nothing like it here.

“The funding from the Development Bank and the Town Centre Entrepreneurship Fund has enabled us to fulfil a gap in the market and create a fun and affordable activity for people of all ages to enjoy. We’ve 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 on the high street in Bangor. We are pleased to be working 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.”

Minister for North Wales Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s great to visit this new business here in the centre of Bangor today.  Our town centres have great potential and we want to support new ventures.  We know that the pandemic has had on impact on town centres and I’m pleased that we are already seeing the results of some of the measures we’ve put in place including the town centre entrepreneurship fund.  I wish Bangor Xscape rooms all the very best for the future.”

David apJohn Williams, National Contract Manager from Business Wales added “Traditionally our Town Centres have been the beating heart of local communities and its fantastic that Business Wales is able to support entrepreneurs like Nick and Jordan to turning their passion into a new business, introducing new experiences and visitors to Bangor Town Centre.”

The £20,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales came from the £30 million Wales Micro Loan Fund that is financed 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 willing to move to Wales, can apply.

Xscape Bangor will be open from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets can be booked online.