‘Good progress’ on High Street voucher scheme in NI - but not available yet

The Department of Economy have said that ‘good progress’ is being made on a high street voucher scheme,.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 8:01 am

The initiative was announced last year to support retailers hit by the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.

Individuals could receive between £75-£100 each to spend in town and city centres, with £145m of funding ring-fenced for its rollout.

Non-essential retail in Northern Ireland is set to reopen on April 30 as part of the lockdown-easing measures announced by the executive.

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But according to the BBC the pre-paid cards will not be issued imminently.

The scheme is under development by officials and “good progress is being made to bring it to fruition”, according to the department.

Officials want to ensure it is safe to do so and the time is right to stimulate demand and encourage the public to visit the high street.

There is an expectation of a surge in spending at shops due to pent up demand, BBC News NI understands.

The voucher is a key part of Minister Diane Dodds’ Economic Recovery Action Plan.

The department is also working on a tourism voucher for use at local attractions to boost the struggling sector.