Shops, restaurants, bars and other businesses across Brighouse are set for a big boost as a new town centre gift card is launched just in time for Christmas.
Brighouse is one of the first places in the UK to use the new digital technology which has been set up by the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) in an attempt to bring more money and shoppers into the town.
The Brighouse Gift Card is available to buy in the town centre and online, as either a digital or physical gift card, and can be spent in dozens of retail, leisure and hospitality venues across the town centre. A full list can be found at www.brighousegiftcard.co.uk, where cards can also be purchased, or from the BID office on Bradford Road.
Among the businesses accepting the Brighouse Gift Card is Websters Distinctive Furniture, one of the largest independent businesses in the town. Owner Oliver Blackburn said:
“The gift card is a good idea and it’s exciting for the town. It unifies everything that’s on offer in Brighouse under one gift card. Brighouse itself is well supported and a great location for shopping with lots of independent businesses and very few vacant units. When it comes to local shopping, people want quality products, good service, and a competitive price. Offering these things is why Websters is still here after 150 years.
“I hope the Brighouse Gift Card will encourage people from across the immediate area and wider Yorkshire, who’ve never been to the town before, to visit. At Websters, we have six large shop windows on the high street, and at Christmas these displays are full of gift items such as candles, artwork and soft furnishings, alongside our furniture. Giving the gift card is a nice way to give someone a treat, and also give them choice, as it can be spent with so many Brighouse businesses. I also think it will be useful for organisations to use as rewards for their staff this Christmas and beyond.”
Leanne Taylor is the owner of Leanne Taylor Hairdressing, another of the town centre businesses accepting the Gift Card. She believes it will benefit customers and businesses:
“The business was started by my great granddad in 1919 and has been in the family since then. The salon is really busy and we have got great regular clients but like all small businesses we are still battling on. We got through covid, but now we’re being hammered on inflation and the cost of supplies and bills. It’s a matter of survival.
“People are struggling too and I think the gift card will help them. If someone is given a Brighouse Gift Card as a present, they’ll be able to use it towards getting something that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford, or to treat themselves. The added benefit is that money stays local and supports Brighouse businesses. It could bring in new customers for businesses, and then they’ll hopefully stick with the business.
“Lots of clients pay using Google Pay now. It’s brilliant that there’s the option for people to buy a digital gift card too, I think it’ll be really popular.”
Julie Lunn is the owner of Brief Encounter lingerie, swimwear and nightwear boutique and believes the gift card will put Brighouse on the map:
“I joined the Brighouse Gift Card because it’s a no-brainer as a business owner. There’s still so much uncertainty at the moment for businesses and it makes such a huge difference when people shop local. We need some good news right now and that’s what the gift card represents.
“The gift card will be really positive for the town. It’ll bring more people into Brighouse instead of them going to the city centres to shop. Brighouse is full of interesting independents, and you can get most things you need here. It will put us on the map.”
Leisure and hospitality businesses also feature on the card. Lauren Lister opened new Brighouse business The Pottery Spot in 2022. She said:
“Brighouse is such a friendly, busy place with a vibrant range of businesses and an ideal location for me to open The Pottery Spot. It has been going really well, with lots of lovely feedback from customers. The gift card is another way that businesses can work together to showcase what we have on offer in the town. People who receive a Brighouse Gift Card for Christmas can look forward to spending it in the New Year.
“Sometimes it’s hard to know what to get someone as a gift, but with the Brighouse Gift Card, there’s the satisfaction of knowing it can be spent with lots of different businesses in the town. It gives the recipient choice.
“I don’t even have a purse anymore, and pay for everything on my phone, so I like the idea of the Brighouse Gift Card being available as a digital card too. As a new business, the fact that there are no costs for my business in being involved is a big plus.”
Digital gift cards are sent to the recipient as a text or email, the recipient can then add the balance of their Brighouse Gift Card to their digital wallet and make their purchase using their phone, either online or in-store.
Helen Holdsworth, project manager for the Brighouse BID, who are behind the scheme, said there’s something for all ages on the gift card:
“We’re proud to be one of the first towns in Yorkshire to have its own digital gift card, alongside a physical gift card. This gives customers ultimate choice this Christmas, so they can give a Brighouse Gift Card that suits the needs of who they're buying for. People want to shop local and support the small business owners, and the gift card is a way that they can easily do that.
“The gift card caters for all ages and interests, and is a way that people can show their love for Brighouse and share that with others.”
The Brighouse Gift Card is part of the award winning Town & City Gift Card initiative active across Yorkshire, backed by fintech Miconex. Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex said:
“Digital gift cards now make up 43.9% of the total gift card market. If this trend continues, digital gift cards will soon be the best-selling product type. The use of digital wallets is soaring, with 60% of 16-24s using this technology already, and other age groups set to catch up over the coming years. Brighouse having this technology now sets them ahead of the curve.”