14 April 2021

SUNDERLAND businesses which haven’t yet signed up for the city’s gift card are urged to join – and take advantage of the thousands waiting to be spent.

The Sunderland City Gift Card was launched last year by Sunderland BID in partnership with Sunderland City Council and now around 118 businesses have joined the scheme.

And with the re-opening of non essential retail, hospitality and personal services businesses it means that people who were gifted a card now have the opportunity to spend them.

At present there is £30,000 worth of cash on cards which recipients will be eager to spend on everything from new clothes to meals out to hair and beauty treatments.

And Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, is encouraging businesses not yet set up to receive the cards to join, giving their customers the ability to spend their gift cards with them.

“We launched the card back in November and in the run-up to Christmas there was thousands of pounds spent at outlets across the city by people who had received one as a gift,” she said.

“Lockdown has meant that there is still a huge amount of money waiting to be spent and we want as many retailers as possible to benefit from it.”

The cards are currently accepted in a number of high street outlets as well as in many of Sunderland’s independent stores, restaurants, pubs and bars.

“The benefit of the cards is that it allows the recipient to choose something they would really like and at the same time helps boost the local economy,” said Sharon.

“The advantages for businesses is that it gives them an extra outlet for their products and services, which has no cost to them.”

The cards can be purchased for amounts between £5 and £500 online at

Any business wanting to sign up should contact [email protected]. The only criteria is they must be able to accept Mastercard.

The Sunderland Gift Card is part of the Reopening High Streets Safely project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.