Island Card: Isle of Wight council launch gift card scheme as part of Island’s ‘recovery blueprint’

The Isle of Wight Council say they are looking to team up with local business associations, alongside town and parish councils, to develop pilot schemes in Newport and Ryde

blue paper bag

A new gift card scheme – the Island Card – is set to launch on the Isle of Wight as part of a raft of wide-ranging measures to help get the local economy back on its feet.

Residents will be able to spend in local shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and leisure venues using the special pre-paid ‘Island Card’ — helping to support independent retailers and reboot the high streets.

Working in the same way as a shopping centre or department store gift card, purchasers will be able to choose how much they want to pre-load onto the card.

The Isle of Wight Council is looking to team up with local business associations, alongside town and parish councils, to develop pilot schemes in Newport and Ryde.

Whittle: We really need Islanders to shop local
By encouraging consumers to shop local, Councillor Wayne Whittle, Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, said similar projects in other parts of the country had brought a welcome boost to the local economy.

He said,

“The high street and our town centres are an integral part of post-Covid recovery.

“Now more than ever, we really need Islanders to shop local. If people don’t come into our town centres and support our businesses, we really will lose them.

“This would be a fantastic way to keep spending right at the heart of the local economy.”

The development of an Island gift card is just one way the council aims to work with its partners to help the Island’s economy bounce back from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ‘three pillars of recovery’
Published for the first time today (Wednesday), the authority’s Covid-19 recovery plan — A Better Island — forms the blueprint to get the Island on the road to recovery.

Based on the ‘three pillars of recovery’ — community, economic and place — the proposals focus on the next 18 months: keeping Covid-19 infection under control, supporting people and businesses through the recession, and working with partners to do both while under huge financial pressure.

Council leader Dave Stewart said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit our Island extremely hard, and we now need to ensure that we prioritise helping our businesses and residents by giving them as much support as we can so they can recover from this unprecedented situation.

“The underpinning of our recovery plan is that it keeps people safe as well as helping to bring our economy alive with innovative schemes such as the proposed Island Card, pop-up business school to assist people to start their own business and a youth employment support hub.

“The crisis has shown us how we can all pull together, and why we need to continue with that community spirit. This plan will focus on the most vulnerable but also aims to ensure that no one on our Island is left behind.”

The Covid-19 recovery plan — A Better Island — will go before Cabinet members on 10 September and is available to download (see Appendix 1).


News shared by Isle of Wight council press office. Ed

Image: Lucrezia Carnelos under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 2nd September, 2020 4:29pm

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Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Retail, Top story

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13 Comments on "Island Card: Isle of Wight council launch gift card scheme as part of Island’s ‘recovery blueprint’"

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Craftus

If people don’t come into our town centres and support our businesses, we really will lose them…

..we now need to ensure that we prioritise helping our businesses and residents by giving them as much support as we can so they can recover from this unprecedented situation.

Fine words from the administration that is increasing parking charges and traffic chaos!

Geoff Brodie
For background – When this was floated past Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council informally back in June, the costs of initial set-up, plus commission to Mastercard (yes, Mastercard) and covering the monthly charge for participating businesses was £52,513. The IW Council were willing to contribute £15k, but wanted Newport and Ryde Town Council to each contribute £13,500, with smaller contributions from the business associations. Personally I couldn’t… Read more »
chausettes
Literally a token effort. What is the cost of setting up this scheme? Even if it’s funded by a central government fund, it’s still a waste. The IW Council can (and should) do more to help local business keep the money they already generate. Money in the bank is surprisingly still an accepted currency for all businesses – a gift card (which attracts an administration cost) is… Read more »
Colin
What a document! The author is on fire here! The Island is clearly saved! Hurrah! Trouble is, I’m none too sure that the councillors will be able to understand it and given their habit of voting any old load of tosh through when they haven’t managed to get past page 3, I don’t think any of them would be able to answer questions on it later. I… Read more »
Angela Hewitt
I see the card as…. Passive aggressive bullying? If you don’t sign up as a business your will loose out? Protectionism at it’s worst? More admin for small businesses. Will those who don’t buy a card be victimised as none supporters of Island businesses. Appendix one is just a flaky wish list. The funniest being the regeneration of Newport’s Historic High Street. That went years ago with… Read more »
marknewman
This coupon will crash. Maybe a few hairdressers and takeaways will choose to accept this island Card, but why would customers? I put my money onto a new card and then spend it? What’s the point of that? And how do get my funds back if I decide to not use the card for a few weeks? If the council is issuing an Island Card for Island… Read more »
fedupbritain

No-one will use the card, no-one will attend the pop-up business school or the youth job hub. Thousands of taxpayers pounds will be flushed down the loo, though. Typical non-thinking by poorly equipped councillors. Not an MBA among them.

jon101

That’ll work – not. jeez the way the Council handle money what could possibly go wrong. I use the current voucher scheme=cash.
Why would anyone use a council card, when cash and credit and debit cards are available.

Colin
Supporting the High Streets… hmmm…it may possibly have been suggested before but the best way to support the High Streets would be to scrap the high parking charges, No? It’s what puts plenty of people off stopping in town. I wonder why supermarkets have free parking right outside their shops? Is it because that’s what customers want? I’ve listened to all the arguements about keeping the flow… Read more »
birdmaniw

Here we have the council trying to help local businesses. Fair enough, good idea. On the other hand we have the council doing away with free parking over the winter months. Free parking would be far more beneficial to local businesses than an IW Card. Something two faced there me thinks.

fedupbritain

Nobel Prize winning stuff!

jon101

on a par with Obama getting the Peace Prize

fedupbritain

Ha yes. I always thought that Ronald Reagan was hard done by not getting it. He was the first President to begin the process of reducing rather than capping nuclear weapons.