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THE FIGHT AGAINST FOOD WASTE RAMPS UP WITH THE ARRIVAL OF GROUNDBREAKING NEW TECHNOLOGY DESIGNED TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE IT

THE FIGHT AGAINST FOOD WASTE RAMPS UP WITH THE ARRIVAL OF GROUNDBREAKING NEW TECHNOLOGY DESIGNED TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE IT

The world’s first real-time mobile app, developed to help food stores clear significantly more of its reduced to clear, often yellow labelled, food produce has launched in Northern Ireland.

In an industry first, Gander, a mobile platform that displays ‘reduced to clear’ food products, has partnered with Henderson Technology to bring this sustainable technology solution to life in stores supplied by the Henderson Group in Northern Ireland under the SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOxtra brands.

Gander is unique for this industry as it displays reduced to clear food automatically and in real-time, with Henderson Technology’s award winning EDGEPoS System pushing the reduced food products to the mobile app, as they are stickered in-store.  Similarly, when that item is sold it is automatically removed from the app, providing an instant feed of all reductions in-store at any time making it simple and effective for the shopper.

Food waste is a huge issue and has recently been described as an “environmental, economic and moral scandal” by Ben Elliott[1].  Recent Northern Ireland figures shows that in total, Northern Ireland’s councils collected 230,942 tonnes of LAC (local authority collected) municipal waste between October and December 2018, similar to the 232,012 tonnes collected during the same three months of 2017.[2]

Speaking on the launch of Gander into Northern Ireland, Ashley Osbourne, Founder of Gander says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Henderson Technology in Northern Ireland, to introduce this new technology to market in an industry first. The Henderson Group has a fantastic sustainability and CSR programme in place with a proactive focus on waste reduction. Together through this partnership, we can take significant strides towards giving retailers and shoppers alike the ability to have a more sustainable and mindful approach to food shopping.

“Environmentally, food waste is a crisis and is one of today’s growing issues and it is forecast to increase substantially by 2030 unless serious action is taken.  Worst yet, a significant proportion of this waste is completely avoidable. However, for retailers reduced food can cost them up to 7% of their turnover.  At a time when margins are being squeezed, this is revenue sitting on their shelves and that shoppers locally would love to buy, they just don’t know it is there”.

Darren Nickels, Head of Henderson Technology says: “As an innovative and forward-thinking technology supplier, we are committing to helping all our retailers to reduce food waste alongside tackling the problem in our own stores. We are excited to have partnered with Gander to bring this unique initiative to life in an industry first. As part of the Henderson Group, we believe that initiatives like this will help us tackle the moral and environmental problems associated with avoidable food waste. We are delighted to be the first POS provider in the U.K. to offer this with our EDGEPoS system.

“Through the retail partners we work with both here in the UK and across the globe, we know that many of our customers feel strongly about addressing this issue and feel confident that by introducing the Gander app we will encourage shoppers to purchase in a smarter, more sustainable way while also enjoying some great savings.”

Ashley adds: “Only 5% of a retailers existing shoppers purchase reduced to clear food.  Gander puts this information in the hands of significantly more motivated shoppers which in turn will increase sales of reduced product.  For a retailer, this will increase revenue otherwise lost to waste, increase footfall and reduce waste.  For the shoppers it will provide them with the ability to avail of local bargains and save money, whilst allowing them to feel they are positively addressing the problem of food wastage.  A win, win!

“Shoppers love reductions and offers with 32% shopping for offers according to IGD Shoppervista research.  Furthermore, there is a movement from shoppers towards companies with an environmental focus with 72% of Gen Z’ers shopping in stores with a positive social and environmental impact according to Nielsen.”

The Gander app can be downloaded via the Apple or Android app stores and used to locate reduced items at your nearest SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOxtra store.

Gander is rolling out across the UK and ROI following the successful launch of the app in NI, to help drastically reduce waste at a National level.

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[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/31/food-waste-chief-to-target-scandal-of-250m-binned-uk-meals

[2] https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/news/northern-ireland-local-authority-collected-municipal-waste-management-statistics-released-13

TIME FOR TEA AT WHITEHEAD RAILWAY MUSEUM

TIME FOR TEA AT WHITEHEAD RAILWAY MUSEUM

Whitehead Railway Museum is rolling out its cake-stands and best china for a new season of its popular Afternoon Tea after a sell-out year in 2018.

Having celebrated its most popular year with visitor numbers increasing by 50%, the award-winning Museum will welcome guests to step back in time and enjoy Afternoon Tea in a stationary historic railway carriage, located on the tracks within the Museum premises.

General Manager of Railway Preservation Society of Ireland Lisa Adair said: “We have had an extremely successful summer so far with speciality train rides, bespoke events, and our visitor numbers are continuing to rise. We were overwhelmed with the bookings we received for the Afternoon Tea last year and the start of this year so we know there is a big demand for this event. As we run a very busy summer schedule this offering finished in May, so we are really looking forward to kicking off our Autumn season and inviting people to experience the atmospheric carriage.

“Whitehead has always been a railway town and we want to make it a visitor spot that appeals to everyone, not just the railway enthusiast community, so having unique offerings such as Afternoon Tea brings visitors from near and far to the Museum.”

Operated by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI), the Museum also offers a gallery experience that weaves through the rich rail history of generations, from seaside trips to tales of smuggling butter across borders. Visitors can enjoy an array of steam and diesel locomotives plus heritage carriages, see work in progress in the restoration workshops, enjoy afternoon tea in the Edwardian Tea Room, and hear all about the social impact of the railways and Whitehead.

Bookings have now opened for this season’s Afternoon Tea and the first event takes place at Whitehead Railway Museum on Saturday 7th September. Book now via https://www.steamtrainsireland.com. Whitehead Railway Museum is open 10am to 4pm Thursday to Saturday, while the Edwardian Tea Room, which is admission-free, serves tea/coffee and freshly prepared lunches. Experienced RPSI members are on hand for conducted tours at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm, with tours lasting just over an hour.

WE’RE HIRING!

WE’RE HIRING!

Rumour Mill Creative Communications is an award-winning creative, public relations, social and influencer relations agency looking for an experienced Client Director, Client Manager and Digital Client Executive to join its fast-growing team.

Each individual will play an integral role within this growing team, helping to develop campaign strategies and plan media outreach activity along with managing the implementation of agreed activity. They will help to manage and lead the team across day-to-day activity and will be responsible for building and maintaining client relationships. They will also be responsible for generating high quality coverage, online engagement and will be expected to liaise regularly with key media contacts.

Whilst we try not to take ourselves too seriously, we do take our client work seriously and take pride in the campaigns we deliver.

If you have experience of working in communications – either agency or in-house – and thrive in an ambitious, lively, challenging and fast-paced environment (oh and did we mention with donuts and peroni on tap) then we’d love to hear from you.

The deadline for all roles is Friday 20th September at 4pm. Please email your CV stating salary expectations to office@rumourmillcomms.com

We are looking forward to reading all about you and hopefully welcoming you onboard!

NEW HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ® OPENS IN DERRY~LONDONDERRY

NEW HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ® OPENS IN DERRY~LONDONDERRY

The new Holiday Inn Express ® Derry – Londonderry has opened its doors in the bustling city centre, creating the second largest hotel for the city. The £7million investment will generate 44 new jobs, enhancing employment and business opportunities for service providers in the region.  The major multifaceted development plan is set to boost the Strand Road area.

The hotel which boasts 119 modern bedrooms will offer competitive rates, lending to the thriving tourism in the city, as the increased visitor rates have helped to achieve record occupancy levels and welcomed thousands of visitors year on year. Holiday Inn Express has introduced Next Generation – an innovation developed to meet the needs of today’s Smart Traveler and suited to the idea of ‘express travel’. It’s excellent central location is just a short 5-minute walk to popular attractions such as the historic 17th Century Walls, the Peace Bridge and Guildhall, as well as a range of retail outlets and the city’s vibrant bars and restaurants.

The hotel offers an Express Start™ Breakfast included in the rate for all guests. In addition, super connected bedrooms offer appealing amenities such as Smart TVs, blackout blinds and a choice of pillows. The hotel has two meeting rooms ideal for small board meetings, interviews or brainstorming sessions.

Phase one of the development will focus on the opening of the hotel, with plans to add another 31 bedrooms by the end of the year.  Phase two will elevate the hotel offering by introducing a brand-new bar and restaurant, whilst phase three will bring the development of 25 self-catering apartments in 2020, ideal for corporate events or longer stays.

General Manager Stephen Redden said, “We are delighted to open the doors of Holiday Inn Express, adding a fresh and exciting dimension to the city’s accommodation offering. We are proud to generate 44 local jobs, whilst greatly adding to the continued growth of the destination. To be based in the heart of Derry-Londonderry, we are confident that we will be adding to the great vibrancy of Strand Road, complimenting the many emerging and existing businesses.”

Foyle Cup team members are amongst the first guests to stay at the hotel. The tournament hosted in the city in July is one of the largest youth soccer events in the country, attracting thousands of visitors. Holiday Inn Express will welcome Glenavon FC, Barnsley FC and Beann Mhádagháin FC providing a central location for the duration of the tournament.

The hotel is part of the IHG ® (Intercontinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies representing 17 hotel brands with over 5,600 partner hotels worldwide. IHG® Rewards Club gives guests the opportunity to build loyalty points with every stay and avail of exclusive member benefits including discounted or free hotel stays at any IHG property worldwide, free airmiles and discounted brand name merchandise.

ENDS

LIGHTS, CAMERA, NEON! #BHS AT CONNOR & COMPANY PHOTOSHOOT

LIGHTS, CAMERA, NEON! #BHS AT CONNOR & COMPANY PHOTOSHOOT

With edgy hairstyling from the creative Connor & Company team, vibrant make-up by beauty business queen Grainne McCoy, photography by expert Glenn Norwood and unique garments from talented Ulster University fashion graduates – last week’s photoshoot was a hub of exceptional collaboration and creativity.

The photoshoot comes as preparation to celebrate the imminent opening of Connor & Company, an all-new concept salon located in the heart of Derry, owned by our innovative client and champion hairdresser Connor Grant.

Taking place at 1G1 Studio, the team embraced the grungy industrial surroundings as well as injecting plenty of neon, colour and fun to create a one-of-a-kind theme – the most fitting way to showcase Connor & Company’s diverse abilities and clientele as well as compliment their branding.

The shoot saw everything from quirky 70’s corkscrew curls to silky straight do’s; from dramatic high ponytails to freshly-coloured silver hair, all of which were effortlessly modelled by Chloe Spence, Hannah Watson, Dearbhla MacFarland, Grainne McCoy, Nicky Irvine and Austin Cush.

We also welcomed a number of eclectic Ulster University fashion graduate collections by designers Matthew Tanner, Chloe Dougan and Chloe Elliott.

Matthew Tanner’s intricate gothic pieces brought a vampy element to the shoot, allowing Connor & Company hair stylists Aaron Hutchman, Becky Gallen and Aislinn Kelly to show off their skills.

Chloe Dougan’s extensive range bought us something for everyone; including bright tassels, delicate sheer and heavy-duty chain mail which excelled in all themes of the photoshoot.

Recent graduate Chloe Elliott’s signature embroidered and embellished colour-block blazers proved the perfect match for Connor & Company’s bold branding, which was built from conception in-house by Rumour Mill and That Clever Ghost.

Speaking on the day, Connor enthuses: “The day was fantastic and better than expected. The success of the day was all down to the creative people who worked together to produce something special and outside the box. This shoot allowed us to capture the vision of Connor & Company and showcase our ability to create iconic, stylish and head turning looks. I want to extend a very special thank you to Matthew, Chloe Dougan and Chloe Elliott for kindly supplying clothes for the shoot – as their incredible looks took the shoot to another level. I can’t wait to see the finish images and we are already looking forward to the next photoshoot!”

Stay tuned see the release of the professional photos as well as the grand opening of Connor & Company. Watch this space…

NEW BELFAST BNI® CHAPTER LAUNCHED TO GENERATE £3MILLION IN BUSINESS

NEW BELFAST BNI® CHAPTER LAUNCHED TO GENERATE £3MILLION IN BUSINESS

BNI® Northern Ireland, has expanded its referral marketing network with the launch of a new Belfast City Centre based Chapter – Cathedral. With five chapters across the province this latest addition brings its current membership base up to over 130 local business representatives, with the new chapter aiming to generate annually over £3million pounds worth of business.

Established over 30 years, BNI® is the world’s leading referral organisation with over 250,000 members in over 70 countries worldwide. It works by organising weekly referral meetings for groups of businesses. Groups, known as chapters, use their combined network of contacts to find business opportunities and referrals for one another, to a specific brief that members outline at every meeting.

This new chapter signals a change in the format of the meetings, starting at 10am rather than 7am. The Cathedral Chapter was specify launched with a new start time to cater for businesspeople keen to be part of BNI®, but who are unable to commit to early breakfast hour meetings that are the norm in other groups.

Speaking on this significant launch BNI Northern Ireland Director, Andrew Dobbin said: “This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the growing popularity of BNI as an effective way to grow your business network. Our members are business professionals who help each other grow their businesses through their commitment to our principal core value, Givers Gain®.

“Each week, in thousands of communities across the globe, members meet with other trusted business leaders to build and nurture lasting relationships and pass qualified business referrals.  Membership in BNI® offers access to business training, peer learning and opportunities to network and do business with hundreds of thousands of BNI® members around the world.

“Last year, BNI® members in this area generated over £3.3 million worth of business for each other. Each chapter has a personality of its own and finding where you fit best helps you to get connected.”

The Cathedral Chapter’s leadership team is headed up by Aaron Skinner, B4B group; Peter Bond, PMB Accountants and Casey Graham, Miskimmin Wealth.

BNI® Cathedral Chapter Director, Aaron Skinner adds: “I am thrilled to be at the helm of this new Chapter and format. As a start-up group, we have a whole load of popular slots open which is an exciting offering. We would welcome anyone who is either just interested in BNI® or who has been unable previously to join due to the early hours, or because their slot is filled in other groups, to get in touch and come along as a visitor.”

DARE TO WIN…TWICE!

DARE TO WIN…TWICE!

Well would you look at that…not just one award win but two at the PRCA DARE Awards in Belfast.

  • Event, Launch or Stunt of the Year– Six by Nico
  • Low Budget Campaign of the Year – Abigail’s Party at the MAC

Both campaigns were truly exciting and by working with clients that allowed us to be our creative selves enabled us to produce activity that exceeded all expectations.

In a very competitive category, the judges remarked that our launch of Six by Nico was ‘well-executed and a clear winner”. High praise indeed! This is a campaign that we are extremely proud of and demonstrates the strength of our social-first approach. We triumphed in this award category last year for our launch of Revolucion de Cuba – another amazing and fun client.

The judges commented that our campaign for the promotion of Abigail’s Party at the MAC delivered “great results for a tiny budget” and in fact “what they did with a small budget was extremely effective.”

Claire Murray, Acting Marketing Manager at the time in the MAC said: “It was not only the quantity of coverage but the quality of the features, and suitability of message and tone for the various audiences that made this PR campaign stand out. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Rumour Mill and their level of service is second to none. For Abigail’s Party the team at Rumour Mill created a strong and ambitious PR plan, our key Spring production and the most important one for us from a revenue point of view outside Christmas. We achieved all our joint objectives, securing coverage and awareness right across Ireland in both the Northern Irish and Irish markets which contributed to our overall box office success.”

Our boss lady thinks this is amazing news too…

“I am so proud of my team and this is testament to the hard work, tenacity and passion they put in everyday on our client campaigns. We love being creative and pushing the envelope in order to get the best results for clients.

“To win Event, Launch or Stunt of the Year for the second consecutive year is an incredible achievement. It is down to creating bold campaigns that deliver for our clients and challenge what has gone before.”

We have just submitted our entries for the annual CIPR Pride Awards, so hopefully we make the shortlist in July. Stay tuned!

CINEMA IS STILL A BLOCKBUSTER HIT IN IRELAND

CINEMA IS STILL A BLOCKBUSTER HIT IN IRELAND

2019 is proving once again to be a strong year for moviegoers with Omniplex Cinemas reporting that on average every person on the island of Ireland will visit the cinema 3.8 times per year*. This makes Ireland the highest cinema-going nation in Europe for four years running.

Omniplex Cinemas, one of Ireland’s largest cinema chains, has been leading the charge in making cinema more accessible, memorable and interactive. Currently with 15 cinemas located across the province to date which including 6 OmniplexMAXX screens & 13 OmniplexRecline screens.

Over the past 10 years, an average of 702 movies are released per year, with the most popular genre in Ireland being action movies. This has been reflected by the huge swell in numbers following the release of Avenger’s Endgame which has grossed to date £6.4M at the box office**. Other popular genres in Ireland are comedy and animation.

However, Irish cinema-goers have a diverse taste, with a strong affinity towards musicals & music based movies. In 2018, Ireland was the only country in Europe to have two music-based films in their top two movie slots at the end of the year – Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! and A Star is Born***.

Speaking on the demand of cinema across the Island of Ireland, Paul John Anderson, Director of Omniplex Group (NI) says: “I am delighted to see the continued growth and demand for cinema across Ireland. There is still a lot of nostalgia associated with going out to the cinema, grabbing your popcorn, socialising with friends and being fully absorbed by a narrative, away from the distractions of everyday life.”

Recognising this steady evolution of cinema, Ominplex Cinemas is now introducing its MyOmniPass – a monthly subscription scheme allowing customers to ‘See It All’. The monthly subscription includes a range of benefits including one ticket to every standard movie, 10% off your cinema treats, 10% off extra tickets online for your friends, free upgrades of MyOmniPass tickets to MAXX & Recline show, and exclusive screenings just for its members.

Commenting on this new subscription service, Paul explains: “A lot of customers have asked about a subscription service at Omniplex, and it’s taken us a little while to find the best solution. Two key elements of our service is that it’s all based on e-cards so once you have a smartphone you always have access to your card. And secondly, we’ve based the service on getting one ticket to every standard movie we’re showing, with an average of 702 movies released per year over the past 10 years we really want to give our customers a chance to see it all.

“2019 has already been a massive year for cinema and the upcoming releases of major films like Spider-Man far From Home, IT: Chapter 2 and Star Wars is set to continue this trend, making our MyOmnipass the perfect option for avid moviegoers.”

For more information on MyOmniPass and to register visit: https://www.omniplex.ie/myomni/

STEAM SATURDAYS ROLL IN TO WHITEHEAD TO KICK OFF THE SUMMER SEASON

STEAM SATURDAYS ROLL IN TO WHITEHEAD TO KICK OFF THE SUMMER SEASON

Whitehead Railway Museum is pleased to announce the commencement of their Steam Saturdays at the Excursion Station. The return of the steam train rides marks the start of what is expected to be the award-winning museum’s most successful year. 2018 was recorded as the busiest year for the unique tourist attraction, as it welcomed visitors from across the globe, including America, Australia and Europe and the numbers are set to continue.

A steam engine built 100 years ago which celebrated its centenary this year, will be the star of the show this summer. No. 3BG Guinness, which worked at the famous Dublin brewery for 45 years before being presented to the RPSI, will be providing steam train rides as part of the Whitehead Railway Museum’s Summer Steam season.

The steam train rides stir the senses as you step on board a traditional steam train. Visitors will have the chance to see The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) footplate crew at work, shovelling coal into the firebox and preparing the engine for each of its runs.

RPSI General Manager Lisa Adair said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this extra attraction at Whitehead Railway Museum over the summer months. The steam train ride is always very popular for our visitors young and old as the sound, smell and sight of the locomotive creates a magical atmosphere. We have a really exciting programme of events coming up over the summer including our Afternoon Tea and Steam & Jazz events and we would be delighted to welcome visits, old and new to experience all that we have to offer.”

The train rides will operate this Saturday 25th May, Saturday 29th June and every Saturday in July and August from 12 midday to 4pm, departing from Whitehead Railway Museum platform every 15 minutes.

There is also the chance to visit the award-winning Whitehead Railway Museum which is open from 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Saturday and guided tours are at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Later in the summer, the Museum will also open on Sundays.

Tickets for the steam train rides can be purchased on the day and are priced at £2 for children and £2.50 for adults. For further details about Whitehead Railway Museum opening times and the steam train rides, visit www.steamtrainsireland.com.

CAN NEW INNOVATIONS IN ULTRA-LOW ENERGY HOUSING TACKLE FUEL POVERTY?

CAN NEW INNOVATIONS IN ULTRA-LOW ENERGY HOUSING TACKLE FUEL POVERTY?

This is the question being addressed at the inaugural Passive House Association of Ireland Conference, taking place in Belfast on Friday 10th May. The conference, supported by The Royal Society of Ulster Architects and Kingspan Insulation, has been developed to debate, challenge and address how the industry in NI needs to move forward and embrace new ways of tackling fuel poverty.

The 2016 Northern Ireland House Condition survey showed that 22% of households were living in fuel poverty in Northern Ireland; the private rented sector is the worst affected by fuel poverty with most recent figures at 26.3%; and in 2017-18 there were 1,500 excess winter deaths with 30% attributable to living in a cold home. In addition, 68% of households in Northern Ireland are reliant on home heating oil; an unregulated fuel in terms of price and customer protection.

Panellists and attendees will be privy to the latest research and development in the field, and there will be the opportunity for much lively conversation – with focus given to retrofit and new build housing.

The conference will have an esteemed panel of industry experts leading the discussions which includes: Director of Fuel Poverty Coalition NI, Pat Austin; County Architect for Dún Laoghaire and Rathdown County Council, Andrée Dargan; Dr. Shane Colclough from University of Ulster; Green Party NI Leader, Claire Bailey; Caroline Best Project Architect at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Managing Director of Mosart & Passive House Academy, Tomas O’Leary; and Chair of PHAB Group and GP Developments, Garrett Quinn.

The conference keynote speaker will be the Housing Development Manager for Exeter City Council, Emma Osmundsen who will be discussing her council’s policy and successes in social housing by implementing low energy, healthy and climate resilient buildings.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Paul McAlister, Chairman of the PHAI, said, “This is a discussion which is long overdue, and we are delighted with the positive response from across the political and civic spectrum to our first ever conference tackling this issue.

“Fuel poverty affects thousands of households in Northern Ireland and decisive action is needed. The main issue is that there is a lack of understanding of the benefits of low energy housing and a perception that it is more costly to implement this approach; which is not correct. We believe that this conference marks an important first step in addressing the problem, and we hope that it will motivate our business and community leaders to embrace and be more open to recognising the potential of ultra-low energy housing.”

Tickets for the conference are currently available via http://bit.ly/PHAIBelConf2019 priced at £55pp general admission and £45pp for PHAI members.

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