Shoppers sweep up in Lidl Northern Ireland’s annual Trolley Dash, raising more than £90,000 for NSPCC


Shoppers sweep up in Lidl Northern Ireland’s annual Trolley Dash, raising more than £90,000 for NSPCC

Shoppers across Northern Ireland were dashing through the aisles of their local Lidl Northern Ireland store as they took on the retailer’s annual charity fundraiser campaign Trolley Dash on Saturday 10th December to bag their entire Christmas shop for free – all whilst raising vital funds for Lidl Northern Ireland’s charity partner, NSPCC.

Across Northern Ireland, a total of 41 lucky customers – one for every Lidl store across the region – took on their very own supermarket sweep, working against a two-minute timer to bag as many items as possible to take home – for free!

Now in its eighth year, Lidl Northern Ireland’s flagship Trolley Dash charity initiative raised more than £90,000 for charity partner NSPCC Northern Ireland which will help fund the delivery of vital services for children in need right across the region.


For more information, please visit

Leading retail and hospitality app launches ‘Shop Local’ Christmas campaign to support jobs and the economy


Leading retail and hospitality app launches ‘Shop Local’ Christmas campaign to support jobs and the economy


Retail NI backs call from the Roam Local app to support independent retailers in Belfast and beyond over Christmas and New Year


The team behind a ground-breaking app designed to drive interest, footfall and spend to high streets and town centres and support retail and hospitality jobs has launched a new campaign to encourage shoppers to spend local this Christmas and New Year.

The multi award-winning app – Roam – which works to encourage local people to experience more on their doorstep and discover the new trends, deals, discounts available from thousands of locally-based businesses in every town and city, was successfully launched in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

After a tough few years for retail and hospitality businesses, it has never been more important to shop locally.

Research from Indie Retail found that for every £1 spent shopping online, only 5p makes its way back to the neighbouring community – whereas spending the same amount at an independent business helps to generate between 50p and 70p for the local economy.

Roam founder and CEO Andrew Bartlett said:

“We want to celebrate the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer for every consumer this Christmas while also providing support to local businesses which are at the heart of our communities.

“We built the Roam Local platform specifically to create a local user community that shines a spotlight on the all great retail and hospitality amenities located right on our doorstep while also helping businesses turbo-boost how they digitally market themselves to interact more with consumers and visitors in an informative, fun and safe way.

For many businesses, Christmas makes up at least a quarter of their annual sales, which is why the festive season is critical for many. This campaign urges everyone to get directly involved.”


Visit for further information.

Inclusion award for Belfast as the 2022 Harkin Summit delivers a lasting legacy for the city


Inclusion award for Belfast as the 2022 Harkin Summit delivers a lasting legacy for the city

Belfast wins top ABPCO award for Harkin Summit Belfast at leading event industry awards

Belfast’s efforts to become an accessible and inclusive city for all have been recognised after Visit Belfast, ICC Belfast and professional conference organiser Event-ful were awarded ‘Best Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at a Conference’ for the Harkin Belfast 2022 summit at the ABPCO Excellence Awards 2022.

The annual ABPCO awards recognise and celebrate industry best practice in association and not for profit conferences and events.

Beating tough competition from NASUWT for the Black Teachers’ Consultation Conference and the RenewableUK for Global Offshore Wind 2022, the award recognises a team that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion throughout event planning. Judges assessed the reasoning and decision-making process for introducing new pioneering practices and the positive impact the changes and new practices had on stakeholders and beyond.

In partnership with The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement and the Department for Communities as lead sponsor, Belfast encouraged delegates to positively reframe the narrative on approaching, supporting and enabling persons with disabilities to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

The 2022 Harkin International Disability Employment Summit welcomed over 500 delegates and promoted positive social impact and left a lasting legacy across the city. To ensure a successful event, Belfast underwent leading transformational change before, during and post Summit to ensure it is an accessible, diverse and inclusive host destination.

These changes included:

  • JAM Card training which allows customers to communicate their accessibility needs discreetly, highlighting that they may need a little extra time and patience during their visit
  • A permanent Changing Place installed by SYNC Living in the Riverside Foyer area of ICC Belfast
  • Training in inclusion for over 260 hospitality and tourism professionals in Belfast provided by Visit Belfast and NOW group
  • Development of a Social Narrative Access Video to support delegates in navigating their surroundings at ICC Belfast
  • Under the Northern Ireland Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey’s direction, the Harkin Belfast legacy initiatives also included 300 ring-fenced employment opportunities for young disabled people, 100 mentoring sessions delivered during the Summit, an eight-week Entrepreneurship Course for young people with disabilities in collaboration with the British Council and a Dragons’ Den for disability led enterprises sponsored by Ulster Bank

Lookers Volkswagen Preston wins top Motability Award


Lookers Volkswagen Preston wins top Motability Award

The award-winning dealership underwent a £2.1m transformation earlier this year

Lookers Volkswagen Preston has been honoured with an award for outstanding customer service by Motability, a national charity with the purpose of enhancing the lives of disabled people with transportation solutions.

The accolade, part of Motability’s Dealer Awards programme, means Motability customers can be confident of an award-winning experience every time they visit Lookers Volkswagen Preston.

The nationwide awards programme is designed to reward best practice and ensure all Motability customers receive exemplary service across the scheme’s national dealer network. The awards are judged on how this scheme is delivered and is assessed through customer feedback and performance review.

Lookers Volkswagen’s dedicated Motability Specialist Jayne Allred has worked in the automotive industry for more than 30 years, and is trained to help customers choose the right vehicle for their individual needs.


For more information about the Motability Scheme and to find your local dealer, visit or call 0800 953 7000.

For more on Lookers Volkswagen Preston visit

Volunteer Now tackles loneliness with new campaign urging public to give the gift of friendship this Christmas


Volunteer Now tackles loneliness with new campaign urging public to give the gift of friendship this Christmas

Public encouraged to spread good cheer and volunteer as a befriender to the elderly community and give the gift of friendship this Christmas

Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for volunteering in Northern Ireland, has launched a new campaign which aims to put tackling loneliness in the elderly community at the top of this year’s Christmas wish list.

With almost a quarter of older people saying they will be forced to choose between heating their home or putting food on their table this winter, Volunteer Now is launching a new campaign to bring older people together this Christmas to share hot food and friendship.

The ‘Give the Gift of Friendship’ campaign is encouraging citizens right across Northern Ireland to lend their support in one of two ways – by making a befriending donation to directly support campaign activity, or by signing up to register as a volunteer befriender.

There are over 285,000 older people over the age of 65 living in Northern Ireland – set to grow to more than 600,000 by 2039 – and over 78,000 older people live alone.

As part of its mission to tackle loneliness in the elderly, Volunteer Now has provided more than 3,000 hours of befriending to older people in need right across Northern Ireland since March 2021.

For more information, please visit or follow @VolunteerNow on Facebook or Instagram.

Lidl Northern Ireland ploughs record £347 million into local agri-food industry and grows 60 local producers to success


Lidl Northern Ireland ploughs record £347 million into local agri-food industry and grows 60 local producers to success

New Impact Report launched by the retailer demonstrates its significant impact in supporting local producers and championing Northern Ireland’s agri-food produce globally

Lidl Northern Ireland, the region’s fastest-growing supermarket retailer, has ploughed a record £347 million into the agri-food industry here in the last financial year ending February 2022 and supported 60 local producers to success, a new impact report has revealed.

Developed with the support of the Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association, the new report highlights the retailer’s significant economic contribution to the agri-food industry and underscores its longstanding commitment to sourcing produce locally.

The report also found that of that £347 million, £298 million worth of goods procured by Lidl Northern Ireland from suppliers in the region was exported globally through Lidl’s expansive store network, reaching new customer bases across Europe from Great Britain and Ireland as far as Romania, Greece, Cyprus and even to the USA.

From locally distilled Killowen Gin to Hellbent’s spicy burgers, Irwin’s freshly baked bread to SlumberJack’s artisan coffee, Willowbrook’s fresh salads to Wilson’s Country potatoes, to tasty baked treats from Sperrin Bakery, moreish pizza from Crust & Crumb and melt-in-the-mouth ice cream from Dale Farm, shoppers are enjoying a real taste of home with an increasingly expansive line of authentic Northern Irish produce.

For more information please visit

For more information on the Kickstart Supplier Development Programme, visit

“But now at Lidl Northern Ireland” … Julian Simmons launches retailer’s Christmas Trolley Dash in aid of NSPCC


“But now at Lidl Northern Ireland” … Julian Simmons launches retailer’s Christmas Trolley Dash in aid of NSPCC

Legendary broadcaster calls for shoppers to enter retailer’s annual Trolley Dash to win their entire Christmas shop for just £1 in aid of charity partner NSPCC Northern Ireland

Lidl Northern Ireland has this Christmas teamed up with renowned broadcaster and household favourite Julian Simmons for the return of its major festive fundraiser Trolley Dash, in aid of charity partner NSPCC Northern Ireland.

Lidl Northern Ireland is lightening the load for shoppers this holiday season by giving customers the opportunity to win their entire Christmas food shop for just £1 as they take part in their very own ‘Supermarket Sweep’ style dash around their local Lidl store to collect as much Christmas shopping as they possibly can in just two minutes.

Tickets will go on sale in all 41 Lidl Northern Ireland stores across the region on Saturday 12th November for two weeks only, with one lucky customer chosen per store to participate in the annual Trolley Dash.

TV Presenter Julian Simmons, said;

“It’s a great privilege to launch Lidl Northern Ireland’s Trolley Dash charity campaign this year in aid of NSPCC Northern Ireland.

“Christmas is a time for family and celebration, yet thousands of children right across Northern Ireland rely on NSPCC’s services over the festive period. With a difficult winter ahead, and as even more families are impacted by increasing cost-of-living pressures, it’s never been more important to ensure that these services are available to protect and care for children at what should be the happiest time of year.

“It’s fantastic to see Lidl Northern Ireland lead the way in supporting its communities through initiatives like the Trolley Dash. Not only will 41 lucky shoppers get the chance to bag their Christmas shopping for free, but all proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to funding NSPCC Northern Ireland’s vital services. To everyone who buys a ticket to raise funds for this incredibly worthy cause, thank you so much and have a wonderful Christmas.”

Now in its eighth year, Trolley Dash is Lidl Northern Ireland’s flagship charity fundraising event to raise vital funds for longstanding charity partner NSPCC Northern Ireland, with 100% of the proceeds from the ticket sales donated to the charity.

Lidl Northern Ireland’s Head of Sales Operations, Gordon Cruikshanks, said;

“Christmas can be a difficult time for many, especially this year with the cost-of-living crisis affecting so many of us during a period when money is already tight. Shoppers can always enjoy savings on their grocery bills at Lidl Northern Ireland through our ‘Big on Quality, Lidl on Price’ promise, and benefit from weekly savings through the Lidl Plus app, but we are pleased that we can offer our customers the opportunity to fill their trolley completely free of charge and enjoy Christmas on us with the return of our popular Trolley Dash.

“It’s the highlight of the year here at Lidl Northern Ireland and we love to see customers walk away with trolley loads of treats whilst raising record funds for NSPCC. I’d like to thank everyone who enters for providing a major boost to our wonderful charity partner NSPCC at a vital time of year. Good luck to all entrants – see you at the start line in December!”

Over the course of a five-year partnership, Lidl Northern Ireland has delivered funding of more than £700,000 for NSPCC Northern Ireland through a range of activities and initiatives driven by Lidl Northern Ireland staff members across its 41 stores and supported locally by Lidl’s valued customers. Earlier this year, the retailer announced the extension of its charity partnership with NSPCC Northern Ireland for the third time and cemented its commitment to raise £1.1 million by 2024.

To date, funds raised by Lidl Northern Ireland have supported the recruitment and training of 125 Childline volunteers across the charity’s two Childline bases in Belfast and Foyle. It has also supported the training of practitioners at the NSPCC’s two regional hubs in Northern Ireland to provide crucial support to children and families.

Lidl Northern Ireland has also supported NSPCC Northern Ireland’s flagship Speak Out Stay Safe programme – one of the most highly demanded initiatives aimed at raising awareness amongst children of their right to be safe from abuse and neglect. Since April 2021, the programme has reached more than 45,000 children in primary schools across Northern Ireland.

Katrina Hughes, Corporate Events and Fundraising Manager, NSPCC Northern Ireland said;

“On behalf of the team at NSPCC I would like to say thank you to Lidl Northern Ireland for their ongoing support and for the opportunity to be part of the Trolly Dash initiative again this Christmas. The partnership we have forged with Lidl Northern Ireland over the last five years has been nothing short of transformative for our charity and the generosity of its staff and customers exceeds all expectations every year.

“This year, the festive season brings its own unique challenges and the significant funds raised from Trolley Dash will continue to make a huge difference to children and families when support is greatly needed.

“We’re here to support all children who need the support of our specialist services, or simply someone to talk to, and the support from Lidl Northern Ireland makes that possible.”

Trolley Dash tickets will be available to purchase for just £1 in all 41 Lidl Northern Ireland stores across the region from Saturday 12th November until Sunday 27th November 2022.

Customers may purchase as many tickets as they like in support of NSPCC Northern Ireland and to be in with a greater chance of winning.

All 41 winners will be contacted before Wednesday 30th November and invited to take part in the Lidl Trolley Dash at their local Lidl store on Saturday 10th December.

For more information about how to get involved and for competition terms and conditions, please visit

Belfast’s BFG Digital named best eCommerce agency in UK


Belfast’s BFG Digital named best eCommerce agency in UK

Ardmore’s BFG Digital shines at UK eCommerce Awards 2022 for outstanding growth and success

A Belfast-based digital marketing agency has been named the Best eCommerce Agency in the UK by the eCommerce Association.

Built for Growth (BFG) Digital, which has headquarters in the Catalyst Inc Innovation Centre, seized the national recognition award at the UK eCommerce Awards 2022 after beating seven other big-name finalists with a team of less than 40 employees for the sought-after title.

Acquired by creative advertising and marketing leader Ardmore earlier this year, BFG has been making big waves in eCommerce circles since its inception in 2019 but has an award-winning legacy that stretches back over 20 years.

Choosing BFG Digital as this year’s UK winner, judges noted its business model, consistent growth and impressive client roster across the UK and Ireland – including Newbridge Silverware, Belleek and DV8 Fashion – for its overall success.

A Deloitte Fast 50 tech firm and Digital DNA award winner, and recognised as a ‘Business Elite’ award winner by SME News, BFG Digital also made the final of this year’s Irish eCommerce Awards.

Supported by Ardmore, BFG Digital is run by co-heads of consultancy and services Leanne Blair and Andrew McComb.

“We’re proud to have achieved a significant level of growth in the last year, increasing our client base by 112 percent during a transformative, pivotal phase for the company, and in a volatile, ever-changing economy,” Andrew McComb said.

“Our comprehensive mix of eCommerce services, including Google Pay Per Click Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Design and eCommerce Consultancy, has helped a wide range of clients of all sizes, including retailers, manufacturers and distributors realise their online potential and generate more than £1.5 billion in sales.

“During the pandemic, in particular, we also helped many of our clients not just survive, but thrive and in many cases beyond their wildest expectations with all-time record-breaking revenues.”

The strong workplace and team culture at BFG Digital have also been credited for its success.

The development and growth of our colleagues is pivotal,” Leanne said. “We encourage all our staff to continuously learn and innovate in all areas and we provide financial support and dedicated time to ensure they pursue their personal and professional ambitions.

“Our people and culture really are what set us apart and by investing in their future, together we deliver excellence, commitment and incredible results for our clients.”

Based in Holywood, Ardmore is a Campaign UK Top 30 regional agency representing a range of premier clients including Network Rail, Stena Line, Lidl, Dale Farm, Phoenix Natural Gas, Power NI, Translink and National Trust.

BFG’s award from The UK eCommerce Association is the latest in a series of award wins from within the Ardmore Group. Only this month, its sister company LK Communications was named PR Consultancy of the Year at the Pride Awards from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the world’s only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners, with nearly 10,000 members.

eir evo eyes further growth from new vantage point with major office move


eir evo eyes further growth from new vantage point with major office move

Leading telecoms and IT provider eir evo today confirmed it has signed a new 10-year lease to take residency on the tenth floor of the newly redeveloped Grade A office development The Vantage.

Located in the heart of Belfast city centre on Great Victoria Street, The Vantage has undergone an extensive £25 million refurbishment by leading developer MRP, to transform the office space and add a new two-storey extension.

Expertly designed and refurbished to modern standards, The Vantage comprises over 67,500 square feet of first-class contemporary and flexible workspace that is energy efficient and digitally connected, achieving significant accreditations including BREEAM ‘Very Good’, EPC ‘A’ Rating and WiredScore ‘Gold.’

eir evo will occupy the 10th floor where it plans to further expand the team to support its growth and success. Currently based on Belfast’s Lisburn Road, eir evo will open the doors to its premier new 6,142 square foot office space in mid-November, welcoming its growing team to a next generation working environment.

Philip O’Meara, eir evo Regional Director for Northern Ireland, said:

“Since setting out on our ambitious growth plan earlier this year, eir evo has gone from strength to strength. I’m delighted to confirm a new 10-year lease with The Vantage and mark a new chapter of growth as we aim to be the number one challenger brand locally, servicing all public and private sector organisations large and small.

Over the last few months we have welcomed 17 new staff to the team, expanded on our existing capabilities and service offerings with our enterprise and public sector clients and launched into the small business market with our competitively-priced giga-fibre broadband, so we’re delighted to have this new premium office as a great workplace for our growing team, with a dedicated space in which to welcome customers and engage with them on their digital journey”.

Jonathan McKinney, Development Manager of MRP said:

“We are delighted eir evo have chosen The Vantage as the location for their new office as they embark on their exciting and ambitious expansion plan in Northern Ireland.  The Vantage is a perfect example of how a property can be revitalized to meet the requirements of the modern tenant, whilst taking the sustainable approach by retaining its existing structure. eir evo will be a fantastic addition to the range of tenants in the building, and we are confident the new space will be a thriving environment for their team.”

Richard McCaig, director at Osborne King, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome eir evo as the first new tenants to take residency within the newly constructed upper floors which benefit from the panoramic views over the city.  Having worked closely with Philip and the team we are delighted to announce the letting and we have no doubt that the high-quality environment will assist them with their exciting plans for Belfast and the Northern Ireland market.”

Greg Henry, director at Lambert Smith Hampton, said:

“The arrival of eir evo at The Vantage shows there continues to be strong interest in grade A office space in Belfast and demonstrates that buildings like this, which offer a high level of quality, are attractive to modern, growing companies in sectors such as tech and professional services. The Vantage is perfectly positioned to support businesses as they thrive and grow, and we look forward to announcing additional tenants in the near future.”

The new office move is the next strategic step in powering new growth in Northern Ireland for eir evo.

Earlier this year, the company embarked on an ambitious growth strategy to bring its island-wide experience and powerful technical know-how to new and existing customers and cemented a new 20-year commitment to the region, having already invested over £10 million in the last 18 months upgrading its state-of-the-art fibre network.

The growth plans are founded upon a legacy of proven excellence in solution design and customer care. The company promises to ‘level up’ the playing field for businesses in Northern Ireland, providing access to leading technology solutions, competitively priced and backed by strong service commitments, that will drive a new wave of innovation and productivity for future-focused organisations.

eir evo has one of the most extensive partnership networks of globally recognised technology brands, achieving premium partner status with Microsoft, Cisco, HPE, Dell, Citrix, Palo Alto and Fortinet to name a few. This year it was named Microsoft Ireland Partner of the Year in recognition of its customer-first commitment to help organisations get the most out of their technology.

Since its rebrand to eir evo last November, the company has already made a multi-million pound investment in the brand, adding new staff positions to its customer-facing team based in Belfast, and delivering an expanded portfolio of voice and data services to meet growing business needs.

For more information, please visit

Terry Bradley launches major art prize to inspire a new generation


Terry Bradley launches major art prize to inspire a new generation

Renowned artist Terry Bradley is launching a new art initiative to drive fresh talent and creativity among young people in Northern Ireland.

The inaugural Bradley Art Prize, which is backed by leading local business Radius Connect Solutions, will run across the current academic year with a deadline for submissions by 31 March 2023. The competition is open to young people across two age categories, from 14 to 18 and from 19 to 23 years.

Judged by an esteemed panel of critics including Terry Bradley himself, along with wife Ashley Forsythe Bradley, award-winning Northern Irish writer and producer Martin Brennan and Aodhán Connolly, Director of European Division & Head of Office at the NI Executive in Brussels, shortlisted artists will be announced in early June, with two winners selected at the end of the month.

With a total prize value of over £2,000 up for grabs, the winners of each category will both receive a £350 cash prize with two runners up in each category receiving £150 each. The school and college affiliated with each of the two winners will also receive art materials to the value of £350.

As part of the top prize, two leading artists will have their work framed and proudly displayed in the esteemed Bradley Gallery in Victoria Square, Belfast, for a week-long exhibition, including a launch night for friends and family in August.

The winning artwork will then be showcased at the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels’ European Quarter as part of a major initiative designed to encourage more young people to consider turning their love of art into a long-term career, offering local artists the chance to display their work internationally.Terry Bradley, who began his stellar, self-taught art career at the age of 14, said:

“Learning through the arts is an enriching experience that inspires creativity, self-expression, thought and conversation and I’m delighted to be able to support our next generation of talent with a range of compelling reasons to elevate and promote their work locally and internationally.

Our inaugural Terry Bradley Art Prize has been carefully designed to show more young people what it’s like to be a professional artist and how to build a long-lasting career in an area that needs confidence and passion to succeed, and I encourage everyone to get involved.”

Bradley’s outstanding artistic endeavours have taken him around the world in a 40 year-long career which includes a series of exhibitions in Dublin, Belfast, London, Spain and New York.

“My work as an artist is an incredible joy and a privilege, and I’m delighted to share my experience with the next generation of talented artists. I’m also grateful to Radius Connect for their support,” Terry said.

Stephen McQuoid, Director, Ireland at Radius Connect Solutions, said:

“Radius has a longstanding commitment to supporting young people, innovation, ambition and success and we are proud to be joining with one of Northern Ireland’s best-known and talented artists to lead an initiative that confidently delivers on this ambition.

The inaugural Terry Bradley Art Prize represents an exceptional opportunity for our aspiring artists and our future-focused school leaders to get directly involved in a ground-breaking initiative designed to inspire, promote artistic success and kick-start careers.”

Aspiring artists can enter the Bradley Art Prize by submitting up to four high-resolution images of original artwork along with a personal statement to the Terry Bradley website – – to be in with a chance of winning the coveted prize.

For more information and to find out how to submit an entry visit