A FORMER jockey turned digital entrepreneur could be using his revolutionary mobile app to help transform a troubled town centre.

Andrew Bartlett, from Darlington, launched Roam app about three years ago, and it is now used by about 500,000 people across Darlington and County Durham, and many more worldwide.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

The app pulls in information, opening times, images and maps on places of public interest including bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels and gyms to help people plan a day or night out.

It allows individuals to share their location with groups so they can stay together and plan their tips, and by understanding behavioural anomalies amongst friends, the app can send out safety alerts to the rest of a group if someone strays away or gets lost.

Mr Bartlett, whose app was previously called Roar App and Go Roar, is now in talks with Darlington Borough Council to find a way his creation could be used to increase footfall and activity in Darlington town centre.

Dozens of businesses in Darlington and the Tees Valley have already signed up to Roam app, allowing them to send push notifications of offers and promotions directly to a venue’s followers, as well as explaining more about their offerings, menus and admissions fees.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Some of the business to have signed up include Bannatyne’s, Voodoo Cafe, Al Forno and Dr Inks.

Mr Bartlett said the success of the app had “snowballed” in recent years, and he was hoping to provide a “digital solution” to the “digital problem” that high streets are facing.

“It is about being able to share experiences with friends and family and rely on what they say rather than people you don’t know on Trip Advisor.

“Facebook has become so big with so many big brands taking over, so Roam has become a great way for small and medium sized business to get their messages directly to their audiences.”

Speaking about how he has found the last three years, Mr Bartlett said: “It is very different to the racing world, I was used to everything moving fast and this has been much slower, but it has really started to snowball.”

The app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, visit www.roam-everywhere.com or search Roam App on social media.