AN exciting new project aimed at boosting Tavistock’s high street and helping traders recover from the effects of Covid-19 is set to be launched in time for Christmas.

The Tavistock Gift Card has been spearheaded by the town BID (Business Improvement District) as the flagship project to get the town back on its feet in the run up to the festive period and beyond.

The town has used part of its support package from West Devon Borough Council aimed at breathing life back into town centres — £90,000 was announced for the borough back in August. The project has also received support from Mount Kelly.

People will be able to purchase a gift card to any value they wish and the money must be spent in Tavistock shops, whether that is one, two, three or an unlimited number of shops.

BID manager Janna Sanders said she wanted everyone to shop locally and support their town and this initative had the potential to get business buzzing again

‘It’s been months of hard work but we believe that this will be a fantastic initiative for the town and comes at a time when ongoing support for businesses is crucial,’ she said.

‘The beauty of this is that it locks in spend onto our high street. People can buy the pre-paid gift card for any occasion and recipients can spend it in any participating business — whether you want to use it for a facial or sausages, the choice is yours!

‘After many months of bringing this together, we are thrilled to be able to launch it in time for Christmas.

‘Thanks to West Devon Borough Council and Mount Kelly for helping us make this happen.’

Janna said all the management costs were being met by BID and every single penny spent in the stores would go to the businesses. Any business that takes Mastercard is eigible to take part.

‘Although this card is being launched for Christmas, it is forever, it will always be here now, people can buy it for birthdays, anniversaries, any occasion.’

Chairman of BID Chris Palmer said: ‘This gift card can only be spent in Tavistock. We want to keep money in the town and encourage people to shop locally.

‘We know gift cards are a popular choice for Christmas so we really hope people will consider the Tavistock Gift Card this year for friends, colleagues and loved ones.’

West Devon Borough Council’s leader, Cllr Neil Jory, said: ‘West Devon is delighted to support Tavistock BID through the recently established Town Centre Support Fund. The introduction of a gift card for Tavistock will provide a much-needed boost for local retailers and a simple way for us all to support the local economy through the Christmas period and beyond.’

BID has a number of other projects over the next couple of months including the Great Goosey Gander in place of Goose Fair, the Totally Locally National Fiver Fest, Halloween Trail and an alternative Christmas Tree Festival.

It is also lobbying West Devon Borough Council for a ‘free after three’ parking promotion on certain days of the week in December.