Council only sells 73 gift cards in 6 month period

Causeway Coast & Glens Council only sold 73 gift vouchers between the months of April and September this year (2022) to the value of £3,740.

The Causeway Coast & Glens Gift Card began in late November 2019 as part of a five year contract with Miconex and is a pre-loaded MasterCard-based gift card which can be used in participating businesses across Causeway Coast & Glens Borough.

In February 2021 Councillor Richard Holmes called into question the value of the Causeway Coast and Glens Gift Card Programme which promotes the ‘Shop Eat Enjoy Local’ message throughout the borough.

Speaking at the Leisure & Development Committee meeting in 2021 Councillor Holmes said: “When it went through council it was one of those things I thought was a nice idea but if you watch Dragon’s Den it is full of ‘nice’ ideas which aren’t commercially viable and I had that feeling about this.

“At the time we were told the setup costs were £22,000 and there would be very little to run the advertising to keep it going. The bit I couldn’t understand back then and the bit I still don’t understand how we break even, we don’t charge fees for it so I’m struggling to see how we are going to break even on this card.”

Replying at the time a council officer said: “You do make a valid point in terms of breaking even. We won’t see that for a while.”

Council say that costs incurred are for website hosting, card payment facilities, marketing and promotional activity. Furthermore they say that 209 businesses benefit from promotional material and money spent inside the Borough.