Preston To Launch Its Own Local Currency Gift Card

The UK Gift Card Market is worth £5.6billon per year… Preston wants its share, and is set to launch its very own local currency gift card.

A brand-new ‘Preston Gift Card’ is being launched in the next few weeks to encourage people to spend locally and help aid the recovery of the city centre.

Preston Business Improvement District (BID) is launching the scheme, with a number of popular businesses having already signed up to accept it!

Local shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, leisure attractions, beauty services, hotels and more, are now being urged to sign up to accept the card, for free, thanks to the BID funding the scheme.

The concept is simple; the customer purchases a pre-loaded gift card from the card’s bespoke website, between £10 and £200, which they can then use themselves, or give as a present to a colleague, friend, family members… or anyone they like!

The card can then be spent just like any other card allowing the customer to spread their spend across as many participating businesses as they wish.

They will also be able to add to their gift card value by spending over the amount and paying the difference themselves.

The Preston Gift Card, which will only be able to be spent in the city centre, has been developed in partnership with brand-leader, Miconex. The aim is that the card will be accepted in over 100 city centre businesses within the next few months.

Mark Whittle, BID Manager, said: “It’s important that we work with loyal local people to keep spend circulating in their city centre economy, whilst also providing a wide choice of where to spend their well-earned money.

“The Preston Gift Cart card will give shoppers a powerful alternative to existing national cards, especially that are tied to one outlet, and will be key factor in encouraging people to continue supporting their local businesses, in the recovery from this crisis, and beyond.

“We’re absolutely committed to helping to drive local spend and consistently promoting a ‘shop local’ message. Our focus remains on helping city centre businesses recover from the Covid crisis, and flourish beyond.

The Preston Gift Card will be accepted by popular independents and national brands we all know and love.

Jonathan Halton, BID’s lead for the Gift Card said: “We already have some great businesses signed up to accept the card and are looking to launch the card to members of the public very shortly. We want to work with a minimum of 100 businesses in the coming months to ensure the card is widely accepted and that users have an abundance of choice on where to go, and what to buy. We are excited to launch this product and shout loudly from the rooftops that spending locally matters”.

People who purchase a card will be able to discover new participating businesses which they may not have tried before, whilst also supporting some of their regular favourite places.

Omar Mitha, from Ocean Designer Menswear on Cannon Street, the first independent retailer to sign up to accept the card, said: “We’re really proud to be the first independent business in Preston to sign up to accept the Preston Gift Card. We’re passionate about Preston and to see our great city succeed.

“We’ll be accepting the card as a payment method and would encourage other businesses to back the BID and sign up to accept it too, so we, as a community, can see more monies kept within our local community”.

Lush on Fishergate, have also gotten on board, General Manager Danielle Smith said: “As a national brand, we’re passionate locals too. The Preston Gift Card is a great idea to support local businesses whilst giving customers the freedom on where to spend their gift card. We’re proud to be the first national brand to sign up to accept the gift card, and look forward to swiping lots of them, as we head towards Christmas”.

There will be a dedicated website for people to securely buy cards from launching soon, which will list all the places in which customers can spend the card.

Michelle Ragozzino, General Manager of popular late-night venue, Baker Street, said: “We jumped at the chance to be one of the city’s first bars to sign up to accept the Preston Gift Card. We think it’s a great idea, to keep money circulating in the local economy at the same time as providing a brilliant gift for people to spend in lots of great places in our fab city
centre, including Baker Street”.

The design for the gift card, and associated imagery, was produced by city centre design agency Freedom of Creation.

With over 50 local gift card schemes already in operation in places such as York, Edinburgh, Bath and Sheffield, Preston is the first destination in Lancashire to launch its own card to keep spend local and support its city centre.