A NEW rewards scheme, hoping to encourage people to get out and spend at Pembroke businesses has now launched.

Nineteen online and high street businesses have signed up to the Shop Pembroke reward card scheme, which launched last Tuesday (October 30).

The scheme is organised by the Pembroke Chamber of Trade, but offers are set by the businesses themselves, who can change them whenever they want.

Many stores offer discounts on purchases if you shop on specific days, while others will enter you into a prize draw.

Stephan Thornton, chair of the Chamber of Trade, said: “The scheme is an encouragement for people to come and shop in the town.

“Really it is part of a wider drive within the UK to save our high street.

“There’s a beautiful Georgian and Victorian high street here in Pembroke, this is an encouragement to get people out to shop here and see that history.”

Mr Thornton said that he believes this is the first scheme of its kind in Pembrokeshire and that he expects even more businesses will join up once the word is out.

Jonathan Grimes, who designed the Shop Pembroke website, said: “I think there has been a bit of a change in people's thinking about shopping locally.

“But it is also on the shops to up their game and make sure it is a desirable option to come out and shop on the high street. We have got to help ourselves, no one else can do it.

“When people come into my wife’s shop, I see them say “wow, I cannot get that anywhere else” and the high street gives them a chance to experience the product before they buy it.”

Many locals were positive about the scheme as they came to purchase their reward cards.

Natalie Carey, one of the first people to pick up a reward card said: “I hope it will encourage people to shop more locally. It is a great idea.”

Councillor Aaron Carey added: “It’s nice to see something getting done for the town, and business owners taking it on for themselves to attract more shoppers in.”

Wayne Marshall agreed, he said: “It is a good idea, we need something to bring people into Pembroke and spend money.”

Cards can be purchased from participating retailers and online. A full list of rewards can be found on the Shop Pembroke website: visitpembroke.com/shoppembroke/