Scottish fintech Miconex has launched its Great Town and City Christmas Quiz to support places around the UK and Ireland, and encourage people to shop local.
The Christmas quiz offers players the chance to win a £1500 gift card for their choice of over 50 active Town and City Gift Card programmes.
Residents from places all around the UK and Ireland, whether they have an active Town and City Gift Card programme or not, are encouraged to compete against each other for a chance of being crowned the cleverest Christmas town or city of 2020.
Town and City Gift Cards are branded to a particular town, city or region. As prepaid Mastercards, the multi-venue gift cards work like local currency that can be spent on everything from retail and hospitality, to leisure and services. They are designed to make local shopping easy and keep money locked into the area, offering a secure way to shop and gift.
The award winning programme has experienced rapid expansion in 2020, with new programmes launching in November and December in 19 places in the UK and Ireland: Chester, Knowsley, Canterbury, Falkirk, Aberdeen, rural Scotland, Bury St. Edmunds, Tavistock, the Isle of Wight, Scarborough, Barnsley, London, Kirkcaldy, Drogheda, Ballinrobe, Preston, city of London, Antrim and Sunderland.
Places in England with active programmes are: Bath, Bournemouth, Camberley, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Chichester, Exeter, Gloucester, Malmesbury, Salisbury, St. Albans, Watford, Halifax, Harrogate, Sheffield, York, Kendal, Southport, Leicester, Wolverhampton.
Northern Ireland places include: Belfast, Causeway, Enniskillen and Strabane. Programmes in Wales are Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport. There are 17 programmes in Scotland.
Town and City Gift Cards found that the average spent on a local Town and City Gift Card is £34.56. Men tend to spend more at £37.37 and women spend slightly less at £33.32. 98.6% of all gift cards are spent in the first year, and 65% gets spent on top of a gift card received.
Research also shows that recipients are more experimental when they receive a gift card, opening up businesses to new customers as well as a new revenue stream. As at November 2020, £2 million has been spent through Town and City Gift Cards since the first programme launched in Perth, Scotland in 2015.
There is much debate about the smartest place in the UK. Eurostat found that London, Scotland and the southern counties like Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey have the highest number of people who have completed tertiary education in 2019, but the Great Town and City Christmas Quiz tests knowledge of popular culture and history.
All 10 questions in the Great Town and City Christmas Quiz are themed around Christmas and famous gifts, such as the gift Ebenezer Scrooge gave to the Cratchit family and the $1.1 million gift given by Richard Taylor to Elizabeth Taylor in 1969. Competitors enter where they live and complete the quiz, with a leaderboard of highest scoring places around the UK and Ireland.
Colin Munro, managing director for Miconex said: “Due to the pandemic, many of the towns and cities we work with had to cancel their traditional light switch on events, we wanted to do something fun for our places to add some festive cheer. It has been an incredibly hard year for traders but communities are pulling out all of the stops to shop local and support traders this Christmas.
“The Great Town and City Christmas Quiz draws on that sense of community that has built during 2020. It’s a light-hearted game but I’d really like to see our places pulling together to show their support for their town, city or region, just as they are doing this year as they shop local.
“£50 spent in your local area is worth £500, because that money is spent again locally, supporting local jobs and local economic recovery. The average salary in the UK is just under £30,000, for every £300,000 you can lock into your local area, you can support 10 jobs. We all want our local traders to still be in operation in 2020, and we can all do our bit to make that happen.”
To take part in the quiz, people can visit https://townandcitygiftcards.com/christmasquiz/ and select where they live for a chance to play and also enter the draw to win a £1500 gift card for the town, city or region of their choice.
The closing date for the competition is 18th December 2020.