A NEW gift card has been launched to encourage people to support local businesses in Malmesbury.

More than 30 businesses have signed up to the new Malmesbury Gift Card and then number is expected to grow to 50 ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period.

At the launch at The Old Bell Hotel on November 6, the card was warmly welcomed by local businesses who turned out in numbers.

The initiative is aimed at keeping money in the local economy.

Gordon MacPherson, Town Team spokesperson, said: “We are delighted with the support from local shops, businesses and residents.

“The Malmesbury Gift Card offers a local alternative to spending online, enhances the local retail proposition and offers experiences.

“It’s not just about buying things; it’s about enjoying the social aspects and experiences of our small and vibrant market town.”

The card can be spent at Malmesbury Abbey and the Althestan museum as well as a number of high street businesses.

It works in the same way as any other gift card and the amount that can be loaded onto it ranges from £5 to £500.

The card is available to buy from French Grey, The Wild Food Company and Malmesbury Tourist Information Centre or online at malmesburygiftcard.com.

A complete list of businesses currently signed up to the scheme is also available on the website.