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NI high street scheme injects £100m into economy

high street shopping at Easter

Retail chiefs want Scotland to copy NI’s scheme (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish retail chiefs have pointed to the success of a voucher scheme in Northern Ireland and renewed their demand for a similar programme to help Scotland’s shops.

The High Street Scheme introduced by the Stormont Assembly has injected more than £100m so far into the retail, hospitality and service sectors, NI Economy Minister Gordon Lyons revealed.

With just two weeks left until the scheme closes, he said: “The purpose of the High Street Scheme is to stimulate local businesses, including retail, hospitality and service sector outlets, which had been hit hardest during the pandemic.

“It is great to report that we have now boosted spending in these sectors by at least £100m and that the scheme is delivering that much-needed cash injection.

“I have been told by businesses, chambers of commerce and trade representatives from all parts of Northern Ireland how important Spend Local cards have been in helping them recover from the severest impacts of the pandemic.”

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale has repeatedly called for a similar scheme in Scotland and has urged Finance Secretary Kate Forbes to follow NI’s example in next week’s budget.

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