A LOYALTY card scheme being launched in Minehead next Saturday (October 19) aims to boost trade in the area.

More than 140 shops, cafés and pubs in Minehead and Alcombe have signed up to Minehead Shop Local which encourages residents to shop locally with rewards.

West Somerset Council, Minehead Chamber of Trade, Minehead Tourism and Business Association, Revive Minehead and Minehead Town Council joined forces to come up with the idea earlier this year.

Graham Sizer, Chamber of Trade chairman, said: “Many residents and, indeed, visitors use our town centre shops rather than travel to Taunton or the out-of-town supermarkets and this scheme is aimed at encouraging and rewarding those shoppers.

“We are delighted that it is happening. We have copied a tried and tested template used in other towns to great effect and where if successful, they wouldn’t be without it.”

Customers who spend more than £2.50 at one of the participating businesses will get a sticker to fill one of the ten spaces on a loyalty card.

When cards are completed, they can be posted at outlets in the town listed on the bottom of the card to then be entered into a monthly prize draw.

Customers have the chance of winning £25, £15 and £10 and in November a special prize draw will see the winner receive a meal voucher for £45 for Pip’s Fish restaurant.

Mr Sizer said: “Loyalty cards work well in towns where there is already pride in the high street. It’s a fun idea and it’s not too late for anyone interested to join us.”

Founder of Revive Minehead, Fay Dyke said: “Revive Minehead is pleased to support this scheme and it really couldn’t be simpler to use while being a fantastic incentive to shop local and support Minehead business.”

The Butterfly Cafe, in Minehead, run by Shirley Parfitt and her sister, is one of the many businesses taking part.

Shirley said: “I think this will be good for the town and hopefully encourage people to spend money at the businesses taking part.”

Boxes where customers can post their cards once they are full will eventually be placed around the town.

For the time being, however, there are boxes at Minehead Town Council, Minehead Information Centre and Minehead Sports.