Bristol businesses set to benefit from new city centre gift card

Bristol’s three business improvement districts are encouraging city centre businesses to sign up to a new gift card initiative, designed to drive recovery

Bristol’s three business improvement districts are encouraging city centre businesses to sign up to a new gift card initiative, designed to drive recovery in the city

Bristol City Centre BID, Redcliffe & Temple BID and Broadmead BID are funding the launch of a new gift card for the city with all sizes and types of city centre businesses eligible to join for free. Working through the Mastercard network, retail, hospitality, leisure, health and beauty, accommodation and services can register to accept the Love Bristol Gift Card as an additional payment method, and no extra equipment is required.

Steve Bluff, Head of Redcliffe & Temple BID said: “Now is the right time to launch a gift card for Bristol city centre. As we come out of the pandemic, the gift card is an opportunity for our businesses to get behind a program that will keep spend local and further enhance recovery efforts across the city. Any business that accepts Mastercard within our BID boundaries can join – even if they are not BID levy payers.”

The Love Bristol Gift Card will feature illustrations depicting iconic Bristol landmarks, from Bristol Shopping Quarter to Park Street, a nod to Bristol City Centre BID’s 2020 and the 2021 Hearts in Parks campaign where hundreds of socially distanced hearts were painted in the city’s parks for the public to use and enjoy. Steve believes the new gift card will drive local spend, tourism and corporate gifting:

“40% of people have purchased a gift card over the past three years, with a similar percentage receiving at least one gift card as a reward from their workplace. We’re meeting that demand for consumer and corporate gift cards with a new local option. There is also a huge opportunity to use the Love Bristol Gift Card to drive tourism, and for different demographics, such as our student population.”

The Love Bristol Gift Card is set to launch in the city in June and will be available to buy online, in either physical or digital format, making the card the simple choice to buy as a gift for anyone who visits, lives or works in Bristol.

Beth Betts, Marketing Manager for the three BIDs, said: “Bristol is a digital city, so it was important that we made our new gift card digitally enabled too. This option gives customers the opportunity to send a gift instantly from anywhere in the world, and is a great choice for employers who prefer sustainable staff incentives which keeps spend local. Whether people choose a physical or digital card, the benefit will stay here in Bristol.”

The Love Bristol Gift Card is part of the award-winning Town & City Gift Card programme from fintech Miconex, with similar programs running in a number of the UK’s biggest cities, including Aberdeen, Belfast and York.

Beth adds: “Our placemaking initiatives aim to contribute towards a vibrant and successful city. There is strong evidence of the economic benefit of local gift card programmes that we can emulate with our Love Bristol Gift Card, providing tangible support for city centre businesses and generating significant spend.”

Colin Munro is the Managing Director of Miconex and said the potential for the Love Bristol Gift Card is huge:

“Aberdeen sold over £220,000 gift cards in their first year. York onboarded 300 businesses making it the biggest local gift card in the UK. Belfast brought together three BIDs and generated over £188,000 of sales since 2020 to directly benefit city centre businesses. Bristol can build on these successes and create a unique programme for Bristol city centre. People typically spend 65% more when they use a gift card, and 50% discover new businesses as a result. I encourage all Bristol city centre businesses to get involved.”

To help the BIDs launch the gift card, the team have collaborated with the University of the West of England’s (UWE) summer Undergraduate Internship Scheme to recruit a final year student to support with marketing and businesses engagement.

Bristol city centre businesses can register for the programme by visiting: or emailing:

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