Northern Ireland High Street Voucher scheme: Launch date for pre-paid Spend Local card announced by Economy Minister Gordon Lyons – Belfast Live

The Economy Minister has revealed a number of important dates in the roll out of the High Street Voucher Scheme.

A pre-paid ‘Spend Local’ card worth £100 will be available to anyone 18 and over in Northern Ireland to spend on their local high street.

On a visit to Belfast’s Ormeau Road on Tuesday, September 14, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons announced that the online application portal for the scheme will be open from September 27 to October 25.

He also announced a number of other key dates. They are:

  • Week commencing October 4: First tranche of cards will issue to those who have successfully applied for the Spend Local pre-paid card.
  • October 11: Telephone service will open to support applications from people not able to access or use the online portal.
  • October 25: High Street Scheme online portal and telephone services will close.
  • October 25: The last qualifying date for those turning 18 to be eligible to apply for a Spend Local card.
  • November 30: High Street Scheme closes and the Spend Local pre-paid cards will cease to be valid.

The Economy Minister said he was “delighted” to be able to announce that the online portal would open to receive applications in just under two weeks, with the first pre-paid cards to be issued in the week beginning October 4.

He added that the objective of the £145 million scheme is to “boost local businesses following the drop in footfall brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons launching the scheme
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons launching the scheme

Mr Lyons continued: “By giving everyone aged 18 and over in Northern Ireland a pre-paid card worth £100 to spend in local businesses, we will encourage many more customers back through the doors of local retail, hospitality and services.

“I would encourage everyone who is over 18 by October 25 this year, to apply for their card between September 28 and October 25. We expect demand to be high so please be patient if the online portal is busy just after it opens. It’s important to remember that everyone will have at least four weeks to spend their card.

“By applying, receiving, and ultimately spending your Spend Local card in local businesses such as shops, hospitality, and other services before November 30, you will be doing your bit to support your local businesses.”

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