An important milestone has been reached for the Ilkley Gift Card which was launched by the Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) in May 2022 to encourage consumers to shop locally and lock in spend to the town. To date, the total value of gift card sales has exceeded £40,000, with over £6,000 registered in December 2023 alone.
90 businesses are participating in the scheme, including shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, hair and beauty salons, as well as places to visit like Ilkley Manor House and Ilkley Pool and Lido, and leisure activities like Clip ‘n Climb.
Burley-in-Wharfedale resident Rachel Beverley-Stevenson is a supporter of the gift card and says:
“I was lucky enough to be gifted an Ilkley Gift Card for my 50th from some lovely local friends. It was a great gift and something a bit different. There are so many places you can use it in town that it did take me quite a while to make a decision but in the end I treated myself to some perfume from Bath House, something I wouldn’t have done without the card. It’s such a good idea that I have since bought gift cards as presents for friends and family and I know they have enjoyed using them too.”
Another fan of the scheme is Otley resident Carole Stewart who redeemed the money on her card in a business she had never visited before. She says:
“As a lucky recipient of a £50 gift card, I wanted to try a retailer that I hadn’t yet purchased anything from. It gave me the perfect excuse to pop into Martinez Wine and explore their well-stocked shelves. Since that first visit, I now consider myself a regular and always enjoy the whole experience.”
The Yorkshire Soap Company on The Grove is one of the many businesses who accept the gift card. Store Manager Nathan Kane says:
“We’ve accepted quite a few Ilkley Gift Cards recently as payment and we’re delighted that consumers are choosing to spend their cards with us and with other businesses in town. It’s extremely easy to use and a great initiative to encourage shoppers to ‘shop local’. We’re looking forward to seeing more gift cards pass through our doors as the scheme becomes even more established.”
The Ilkley BID team is delighted that sales and uptake of the gift card are strong and that it was such a popular choice of gift during the Christmas season.
Lisa Drake, Project Coordinator for Ilkley BID, said:
“It’s extremely heartening that so many people are embracing the idea of an Ilkley town centre gift card to support our local retailers and help keep Ilkley a vibrant place to live, work and visit. The BID team and directors are passionate about encouraging people to think about our local shops and businesses before buying from Amazon, for example, and the introduction of a gift card that bolsters the town’s economy can only be a good thing. By giving someone an Ilkley Gift Card, you are giving them the gift of choice and flexibility.”
Consumers can buy the card pre-loaded with any value from £5 to £500 at the Visitor Information Centre or they can pick up a card at selected retailers to load at home as well as buying online at www.ilkleygiftcard.co.uk. Digital cards are also available which you can add to your phone wallet for a quick, contactless transaction.
The Ilkley Gift Card is just one of Ilkley BID’s initiatives to help grow the local economy and offer support to the business community.
The BID’s first term closes at the end of May 2024 and a new ballot will be held in March 2024 to gauge support for a second five-year term.
L-R: Jos Mountcastle, Lisa Drake, Helen Rhodes. Ilkley BID.