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Sunday, July 21, 2024

It’s never been easier to ‘spend local’ – new gift card to help drive economic recovery in West Lancashire

An innovative new gift card has launched in West Lancashire to support economic recovery in the Borough. The Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card is available to buy as a physical and digital card- with Lancashire being one of the first counties in the UK to adopt the new digital technology.

The Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card works in the same way as a regular store gift card, but customers will be able to spend the gift cards with all registered businesses across West Lancashire, including retail, leisure and attractions, health and beauty, hospitality and accommodation, keeping money locked into the region by encouraging residents and tourists to choose local.

Councillor Adam Yates, portfolio holder for Finance and Economic Regeneration, said: “The last two years have been extremely hard for all businesses. One of the main benefits of the Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card is that it offers support for all sectors. Retail shops, restaurants, cafés, salons, and experience businesses have all registered to receive the new gift card for free, bringing new customers and driving footfall to our towns.

“In effect, we are creating our own local currency, powering economic recovery here in West Lancashire. This is a card that can be used by consumers for gifts all through the year, by employers to reward their staff and for many other potential uses.”

Physical gift cards will be available to buy online with delivery to the recipient by post with an optional gift message. Digital gift cards will be sent to the recipient as a text or email, the recipient will then be able to add the balance to their digital wallet, making purchases using their phone, either online or in-store. GlobalData suggests that 27.5% of gift card buyers converted to digital gift cards in 2021.

Working through the Mastercard network, there are no costs for businesses to be a part of the initiative. West Lancashire Borough Council is spearheading the introduction of the new digital and physical gift card for the region.

The list of businesses signing up to be part of the scheme continues to grow, including The Secret Garden Glamping site, ASAP vintage and the exceptional two Michelin-starred Moor Hall.

Derry Green is the founder of multi-award winning The Secret Garden Glamping in Skelmersdale, and said:

“The business started after I built my children a den in lockdown. It went viral and I carried on building more and more. We’re now the most followed glamping site in the UK. We joined the West Lancs Gift Card because the long-term benefits of spending local are powerful. By customers supporting local businesses, and local businesses choosing local suppliers, money stays in the area where we live making West Lancashire even better.

“The West Lancs Gift Card can showcase all of the amazing things we have to do and experience here in West Lancashire for both tourists and locals.”

Another business set to accept the new gift card is Mark Birchall’s Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms and The Barn at Moor Hall, based in Aughton.

Moor Hall Restaurant holds two Michelin Stars, a Michelin green star, five AA Rosettes and has been voted restaurant of the year, twice. Little sister The Barn at Moor Hall was awarded its first Michelin star this year, and holds 3 AA Rosettes. Chef Patron Mark Birchall is Lancashire born and bred, and a huge advocate for the region.

Mark, recently voted the AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year, said: “It was a no-brainer for us to join the West Lancs Gift Card. We should be proud of our offering here in West Lancashire, and at Moor Hall we support many farmers, producers and artisans across the region. This initiative will ensure spend stays in the area, drives footfall and ultimately, contributes to the local economy.”

Another business who has signed up to receive the Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card as payment is ASAP Vintage Clothing in Ormskirk, joint founder Debbie Williams said:

“We set up ASAP Vintage Clothing three years ago, moving into our Burscough Street location in April 2019. In the shop, we sell a wide range of retro clothing from the 80s, 90s and upwards, vinyl records, jewellery and more. You buy from here and you know you’re getting something you won’t see anywhere else, and I think that’s a big selling point for the Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card. Give someone an Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card and they can spend it in our indie shops, cafés and restaurants, and get a totally unique experience. It’s free for us to be a part of the gift card and is a really welcome initiative.”

The new Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card will be part of the award winning Town & City Gift Cards programme from fintech Miconex.

Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said the power of local gift cards shouldn’t be under-estimated:

“Around half of people receiving gift cards in 2021 used them with a business they’d never bought from before, rising to over 67% of Generation Z consumers. With a West Lancs Gift Card in their hand, customers will be more experimental, and spend around 65% more on top of the value of the gift card. Almost 30% of 2021 gift card purchases were driven by a desire to support local businesses. The new Enjoy West Lancs Gift Card is an easy and convenient way for customers to shop local.”

To find out more about the scheme as a shopper or a business, see: https://townandcitygiftcards.com/product/enjoy-west-lancs-gift-card/

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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