(L - R): Cllr Claire Rowntree and Roberta Dambrauskaite from Sunderland BID.
Matthew Neville

Sunderland Gift Card to be used as reward to encourage active and sustainable travel

Participants in Sunderland City Council’s active and sustainable travel initiative will be able to claim the Sunderland Gift Card as a reward, thanks to a new partnership.

The BetterPoints Sunderland Challenge has been funded by Sunderland City Council to encourage people to use their cars less and choose active or sustainable travel instead. Participants earn points which can be exchanged for rewards.

Residents and commuters to Sunderland can download the BetterPoints app, which allows users to track their travel movements using GPS. Active travel rewarded through the app includes walking, cycling, running and using an e-bike. Taking public transport such as the bus, metro or train are sustainable travel options rewarded through the app.

A new partnership between Sunderland City Council, BetterPoints and Sunderland BID, sees the Sunderland Gift Card becoming a main reward for the initiative. Gift cards can also be won as prizes, with a £20 Sunderland Gift Card to be won every week through to the end of August, drawn on a Friday.

Sunderland City Council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for the environment and transport, Councillor Claire Rowntree, said: “Encouraging residents to walk, cycle and use public transport instead of relying on their cars for shorter journeys is one way we can cut Sunderland’s carbon emissions as we aim for a carbon neutral city by 2040.

“BetterPoints encourages residents to use their cars less and allows them to choose rewards for keeping fit and healthy. The partnership with Sunderland Gift Card lets users support Sunderland’s small and local businesses at the same time, boosting our local economy and keeping money in the city.”

The Sunderland Gift Card launched in November 2020- becoming the first city in the North East to have its own local gift card.

Sharon Appleby is the Chief Executive of Sunderland BID and said: “We introduced the Sunderland Gift Card alongside Sunderland City Council in November 2020 as a means to lock money into the city and boost our city centre businesses.

“Over £50k of Sunderland Gift Cards have been sold since then but when you consider that people spend 65 per cent more when they redeem their gift card, the true value to our city is much higher.”

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