A takeaway app to help hospitality businesses through the Covid crisis is being developed thanks to support from the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA).

The app being built by Newcastle tech specialists Boxmodel Digital Media will allow restaurant customers to order food, choose a collection time and pay without having to contact any member of staff directly, keeping to social distancing and ensuring safety.

Delivered through the Northumberland Covid Business Response Programme (NCBRP) using funding provided through the Northumberland  Covid19 Capacity Fund Project, funded by the North of Tyne, eligible businesses in Northumberland will receive the app that can be customised to fit their brand and update their menu.

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Deputy Leader of North Tyneside Council Cllr Bruce Pickard said: “This is exactly the kind of forward thinking and innovative activity the Covid Capacity Fund was set up to support.

“We’re seeing every day the pressure this pandemic is putting on people’s lives and livelihoods, with our hospitality industry especially hard hit. I’d urge all those running hospitality businesses to apply for this app.

“It will protect your customers, protect your staff, and make lockdown trading that bit easier.”

The national lockdown means businesses in Northumberland must remain closed to the public for dining indoors. Businesses can still offer a take-away service however.

During lockdown, the app would allow customers to order, select a collection time, and pay without having to contact any member of staff directly, keeping to social distancing and ensuring safety.

NCBRP is a new service for businesses that have been adversely affected by Covid-19. 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.

It has two elements – Business Advantage which can provide businesses with 12 hours of fully funded business coaching and Digital Advantage which focusses on giving businesses Digital tools to keep them trading.

Cllr Richard Wearmouth, Chair of Advance Northumberland said “This is a great opportunity for businesses to ensure maximum safety to their staff and customers during the pandemic.

“The Northumberland hospitality industry has really taken a hit this year, this app could really help businesses to continue to work safely.”

The App will be compatible with Google Play Store and Apple App Store.