Lancashire creative agency launches local online gift voucher site Vouch

Lancaster-based award winning creative agency Hotfoot Design are set to launch Vouch this weekend, its new online gift voucher website that will allow local people to buy gift vouchers from brilliant independent businesses in the region.

The new online gift voucher website will be launched in the agency’s hometown of Lancaster at the North Lancashire Business Expo 2018, which is being held on Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th September 2018 at Lancaster Brewery.

Vouch will offer people across the region the opportunity to buy gift vouchers from local independent businesses for a range of experiences, from spa days to nights away, fine dining and brewery tours, all from one easy to use website.

Gift vouchers for Lancashire businesses, including DF Studio, the Sun Hotel & Bar, Arteria, Lancaster Brewery, Sue Shields Spa, and artisan wine provider Provino, as well as from companies in nearby counties, such as Cumbria-based Heart of the Lakes holiday cottages, will be available to purchase from the site.

Aidan Watt, technical director at Hotfoot Design, said: “We believe in supporting independent businesses that deserve to thrive. Vouch makes it easy to discover original gift voucher experiences for friends and loved ones, whilst supporting businesses in the local area. The website will be a great showcase for all the fantastic experiences we have to offer here in Lancashire and the North West. Vouch for where you live and gift local!”

The arrival of Vouch follows the successful launch of Regalo, a gift voucher platform for hospitality, luxury retail and experience businesses, by Hotfoot Design two years ago. Gift vouchers are a profitable market, with over £5.6 billion generated in gift voucher sales in the UK each year, and the revenue stream has also been shown to increase loyalty, footfall and sales.

Guy Cookson, marketing director at Hotfoot Design, commented: “The launch of Regalo two years ago was a reaction to the fact that gift vouchers are continuing to be a growing source of revenue for businesses. Vouch was the next obvious step for us. With so many fantastic businesses signing up to Regalo, particularly across Lancashire and the North West, it made sense to offer local people, and those who love visiting our wonderful region, a place where they could access gifts and experiences all in one easy to use location.”

Hotfoot will be at the North Lancashire Business Expo at Lancaster Brewery on Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th September, where businesses can discover more about Vouch and how their business can be featured.

For more information, visit Vouch.


Lancaster Uni duo win Dyson award

Two university students who have developed a ‘spinning’ turbine that can capture wind from any direction have won this year’s UK James Dyson Award.

Nicholas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani from Lancaster University have developed a method to generate electricity from wind generated by buildings in city centres.

The pair’s ‘O-Wind Turbine’ is designed to harness urban air as a source for renewable energy.

Orellana and Noorani will receive £2,000 for winning the national award to help kickstart their product development.

The international winner will be selected from hundreds of applications later this year.

Orellana, who first became interested in the challenge of multidirectional wind after studying NASA’s Mars Tumbleweed rover, says he hopes the O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world.

He added: “Cities are windy places, but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger role in conserving our planet.”

Sir Kenneth Grange, chair of judges, said he was “captivated” by the simplicity of the design.

“Whilst the project, is still at the beginning of a long and gruelling journey of iterations and frustrations, the James Dyson Award exists to reward young engineers with vision,” he added.

Via Business Cloud.

EKM launches Preston events space

Ecommerce website provider EKM has launched its own event space in Preston.

The site was originally built for in-house gatherings at the company’s £3.5m offices on Caxton Road. It has now launched its in-house, designer, training and presentation auditorium as a hireable facility, aimed primarily at government sector and other organisations with an interest in developing the local economy.

Founder Antony Chesworth said: “We built these facilities as a world-class productive environment for our world-class team, taking inspiration from the likes of Google and Facebook, because we want people to think of us in those terms.

“While we aim to compete with the best that Silicon Valley has to offer on a global stage, we’re fully invested in our people and our local economy.  That’s why we’ve decided to open up our event space for use by local organisations also invested in helping Lancashire to grow as a business region.”

Established in Burnley in 2002, EKM powers more than 70,000 online shops worldwide.

Via Insider Media.

eBusiness UK teams up with local property firm

Blackburn-based internet services specialist eBusiness UK has won a contract to build an online web presence and provide search marketing services for Manchester property firm Bluefig Investments.

Bluefig was established more than eight years ago by entrepreneur Faris Mousa but has so far traded solely offline, with no online representation.

The company has purchased and renovated a number of quality properties within Manchester city centre, Cheshire and London, covering both residential and commercial projects.

Now eBusiness UK have been tasked with raising the profile of Faris and his company, and will start by building two websites: a personal site to represent Faris as an entrepreneur, and a second charting Bluefig’s work within the property sector.

The web specialists will then use techniques including search engine optimisation to raise awareness in the North West and throughout the UK.

Nasir Kothia, business development director of eBusiness UK, said: “Although Faris Mousa is an established businessman and Bluefig is well-known in Manchester, the challenge is creating an online presence that reflects this.

“He’s an engaging and passionate entrepreneur and we’ve very much enjoyed working with him on this project so far, with lots more exciting ideas still in the pipeline.”

Faris Mousa said: “In our work the devil is always in the detail, we pay close attention to each and every finish from selection of floor covering through to building signage, all materials are of the highest quality.

“Choosing the right web development and search marketing team to partner with was just as important and in eBusiness UK I have found a set of experts who are friendly to deal with, understand my values and have a proven track record of quality work.”