A NEW gift card is being launched in Bradford today to give the city centre’s high street shops, bars, restaurants and leisure venues a boost in time for Christmas.
Exclusive by Jo Winrow
The Bradford City Centre Gift Card can be used at around 70 locations such as high street chain stores, independent shops, restaurants, pubs, cinemas, hotels and Bradford City football club.
The scheme is being launched by Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) and shoppers will be able to spend the flexible gift card at participating businesses and venues, including The Alhambra, The Light, M&S, Primark, The Entertainer, Impressions Gallery, City Vaults and The Midland Hotel.
Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said: “We’re really thrilled to be launching this exciting new scheme which will give shoppers and leisure-seekers a great way to spend while also supporting local businesses.
“Everything from food to clothes, drinks, a show, football match or hotel stay – every penny is supporting the Bradford economy and the flexibility of it means it’s a brilliant opportunity for people to discover and enjoy all our city centre has to offer.
“We are delighted that many of Bradford’s well known, popular local independent businesses are involved in the scheme – such as Blooms on Market Street, Huma Humad, Airobounce, Apricot, Funzy, Pizza Pieces, Threads, Tiffin Coffee, for instance – along with more recent additions to the city centre including Brewdog and German Donner Kebab, so this offers a great way for people to discover, or rediscover, the wide variety of stores, leisure and hospitality venues we have to offer.”
The pre-paid Mastercard can be bought from bradfordgiftcard.com or from the visitor centre and will soon be available from Bradford City too.
Physical gift cards are sent by post and digital gift cards are sent by text or email – the recipient can then add the balance of their gift card to their digital wallet and make purchases using their phone.
The digital version will be available from December 7. Between £5 and £500 can be loaded on to the card which must be spent within 12 months.
The BID’s business engagement officer Nikki Chadburn said: “The number of city centre businesses accepting the gift card has been growing daily in the build up to the launch and we know that will keep on going as lots more come on board.
“We think it will become really popular with people wanting to buy something different for presents because it’s so flexible – recipients can spend the balance in one go or in a variety of businesses over time.
“It’s ideal for birthday presents, Christmas presents and all sorts of special gifts and local companies could also use it for staff incentives – what better way could there be for local firms to support the local economy?”
Michaela Ramsden, manager of the live music venue and rock bar Nightrain said: “We think the gift card is a fantastic idea and it can only be good thing for city centre businesses. Because it’s so flexible it means every business – including bars and leisure venues – could benefit and it’s especially important because it means that money for presents that might otherwise have been spent outside the city has to come back into local shops.”
Asma Bibi, sales manager at The Great Victoria Hotel, said: “Anything that encourages people to shop here on their doorstep has to be a good thing. We have lots of fantastically loyal customers in Bradford and it will be great to be able to help them to show others how much we have to offer.
“Bradford has a fabulous reputation as a place where you get genuinely friendly, personal service and the more people we can get to experience that, the more people will come back and everyone will benefit.”
The Bradford Gift Card is part of the Town & City Gift Cards programme from payments provider Miconex. There are more than 100 card programmes across the UK and Ireland, including six other schemes in Yorkshire: Barnsley, Halifax, Harrogate, Scarborough, Sheffield and York.
A full list of businesses accepting the Bradford City Centre Gift Card can be found here.