The Friends of Old Town discount card scheme was highlighted in a meeting organised by the Federation of Small Businesses.
An important new FSB report about the future of South West towns was officially launched as stakeholders from across the region debated the best way forward for local town centres and their high streets.
The report entitled Freedom, Funding and Fearlessness, has been produced by the South West region of the organisation, and to start the discussion about how to improve footfall and activity within towns, a special online forum was held.
The Friends of Old Town Card, which is available to all and entitles holders to a range of offers at local businesses, was highlighted as a way of encouraging people to use independent firms.
Other schemes in Swindon were also highlighted, including heritage open days in co-operation with the National Trust, producing local guidebooks and encouraging local bloggers.
FSB South West regional chair Lee Nathan said that the event had been a great success shown a strong and united commitment to ensure towns, town centres and the high street remained firmly on the local agenda.
He added: “FSB is very proud of this report because we understand the vital importance of our towns across the region who need a strong presence to help both business and the community as a whole.
“We were so impressed with the turnout for our launch event and the amazing amount of energy and ideas that came from all of the attendees. They showed they are as committed as we are to making sure that our town centres have a bright future and they remain at the heart of local life.”
The FSB’s report suggests that identity, digital promotion, keeping things local, collaboration and regeneration are the key themes that can drive success for towns in the region, and all these areas were focused upon by representatives from South West councils, Business Improvement Districts, market forums, LEPs and local business leaders.
The report can be downloaded at https://firstvoice.fsb.org.uk/first-voice/fsb-report-calls-for-region-s-town-centres-to-embrace-change.html