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In partnership with European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse

Ashington pub pulls in punters with free mobile app

The first fully funded app is being created with Ashington pub The Grand Station Lounge, as part of a programme launched as a direct and immediate response to the pandemic.

Published: 13 July 2021

The pub has been the first to receive a fully funded app through the Northumberland Covid Business Response Programme (NCBRP), working with Newcastle based software developers, Boxmodel the pub is able to customise the app to suit branding, menu items and pricing. Not only this but the app will allow customers to book a table, order food and pay safely through the app, not only limiting social contact for staff and customers but also to allow for more effective service by freeing up staff time on taking orders and payment.

Owner Al Stanfield started at the premises at the age of 14 as a glass collector and worked his way up to barman to manager and when the previous owners were ready to move on they asked Al if he would like to buy the pub.

He has seen the pub go through lots of changes, but nothing compared to what the last year has bought not only the industry but the entire world.

The Grand Station Lounge pub, was quick to adapt after the first lockdown, quickly moving to food & drink takeaway/delivery services as well as launching an entire new branch to the business, hiring out a fully licenced mobile bar for events across the region.

Hearing about the NCBRP through social media, owner Al Stanfield knew this unique opportunity was something he could not pass on.

“We have been sticking to government guidelines since reopening, and now the app will enable us to do this safely as well as being a great addition to the business."

NCBRP is a new service for businesses that have been adversely affected by Covid. The Project is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of Northumberland County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub.

Apps have been instrumental for the hospitality industry in the reopening and are set to be a vital part of how hospitality businesses run service in the future.

Not only the app but The Grand Station Lounge has also received a website through the programme, as well as attending workshops with Business Northumberland to develop the skills needed to continue the growth and development of the website.

“The website means we are able to promote and rent the van out, another part of our business that started as a result of lockdown."

Business Northumberland provides support to small and medium enterprises across the North East who are looking to sustain and grow their business online. The support programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Advance Northumberland, so there is no cost to eligible businesses when accessing the support.

The website is currently acting as an information site, although as skills develop the team at The Grand Station Lounge are looking forward to having booking systems & menus on the site as well.

“All the support has been really, really helpful you know the support has been great has been really helpful in these tough times”

10 businesses in total will receive a fully funded app through the first of its initiative of its kind.

To find out how NCBRP could support your business, please go to:

For more information about Business Northumberland, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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