A NEW gift card scheme in the Preston Seton Gosford area is being launched on Monday to encourage residents to shop local, rewarding them when they do so.

The local area partnership is launching the scheme thanks to £10,500 of funding, £5,500 of which came from East Lothian Council’s Covid-19 economic recovery support fund. The remaining amount came from Scotland Loves Local, a national initiative designed to encourage people to support local shops safely and in line with the current guidance.

Emma Brown, the area’s connected communities manager, has been working with 10 businesses in Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton and Longniddry on the scheme.

Working with East Lothian Gift Card, the businesses all have preloaded cards of £5 value which are then given to shoppers when they spend more than £10 in store, available on a first come, first served basis.

The cards can then be used in a separate transaction at another store in the area.

Shoppers will be asked to complete a short form when they receive their card to track engagement.

Michelle Wilson, proprietor of the Prestoungrange Gothenburg, one of the businesses involved in the scheme, said: “This is a fantastic way for local people to support local businesses in East Lothian and we are proud to be part of this fantastic initiative.

“We hope more businesses sign up and more people buy into this scheme.”

John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for economic development, said: “I’m delighted that this scheme will get under way at a time when our much-loved shops and hospitality businesses are back open again.

“It’s a great way to help them to recover from the pandemic and to help East Lothian’s economy bounce back.”

Alongside the Gothenburg, The Filling Station, Joli, Nicholsons News, Links Road Garage, McKirdy Brothers, Ocean Side East, Cockenzie House and Gardens, Sweet Boutique and Day-Today – Ashiqs are all taking part.