Christmas shoppers can now make their loved ones’ festive wishes come true and support their local high streets at the same time, thanks to a new gift card website. The internet is often blamed for killing off town centre shopping but the high street is now fighting back by selling gift cards through the Town and City site.

Launching today, the site offers savvy shoppers the chance to purchase city-specific gift cards for 18 cities across the UK including Edinburgh, Cardiff, Sheffield, Cambridge and Glasgow. With the aim of reinvigorating the British high street and providing a greater incentive for people to spend money on their doorstep, Miconex’s gift card programmes aim to help build better local economies and stronger communities.

Making use of the existing Mastercard network, the gift cards can be spent at a wide range of participating businesses including over 1,500 local independent shops and 170 national chains. From shops and salons to cinemas, hotels, restaurants, cafes and a variety of local attractions, there’s something for everyone.

Originally only available through individual websites for each town, the launch of the new Town and City site offers an easy and accessible way for shoppers to purchase their gift cards. So, whether it’s for a nephew in Newport or a sister in Sheffield, shoppers can get their cards from this one stop shop.

Colin Munro, managing director at Miconex, said: “We believe that our gift cards make a great alternative to gift cards from the major online retailers such as Amazon and Apple. Our cards create a more personal experience for recipients who can use them to explore their own town or city. We know that when people go out to spend them that they like to try new businesses and spend some of their own money as well so it’s great for the businesses taking part.”

Since the launch of the first Town and City gift card in Perth in 2015, over 25 cities across the UK have gone on to work with Miconex to launch their own gift card programmes. These schemes give city centre businesses the chance to work together to highlight how vibrant their town or city is while giving more choice to local shoppers.

Leigh Brown, Chair of the Association of Town and City Management and City Centre Manager at Perth and Kinross Council, commented: “The Perth Gift Card programme continues to go from strength to strength and I am delighted to see how many other towns and cities have gone on to launch their own programmes.

“They work in the same way as a shopping centre gift card but for a huge range of local  businesses. It’s easy to use for the consumer and ensures that money is spent locally, so you’re supporting local businesses with your purchase. And since the cards can’t be spent online, they really do encourage people to re-explore the city in which they live.”