A NEW scheme which encourages people to shop locally is being hailed a success.

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More than 7,000 “indi” cards have now been distributed to shoppers across the Braintree district since its launch in September.

The card allows shoppers to receive discounts and free goods at independent retailers in the hope of reinvigorating town centre trade.

The initiative received a boost at the recent Braintree Christmas Market where more than 1,000 more visitors snapped up the cards.

Regeneration manager Alison Jennings said; “We introduced the indi card to encourage people to shop local and support local retailers and businesses, and its great news how quickly it’s taking off.

“Saving money on shopping and meals out couldn’t be simpler with the indi card and, with Christmas just around the corner, there has never been a better time to use it.” More than 50 businesses have signed up to the scheme following a successful trial in August, when 15 shops put forward offers and discounts.

The move is part of the council’s “Backing our Towns” campaign and follows Braintree’s successful bid for a share of the £1.2million Mary Portas Pilot funding.

The latest offers can be viewed at www.braintree.gov.uk and shoppers in Halstead can pick up a card from Braintree Council on Saturday December 1 from 10am to 3pm.

Shoppers in Witham can pick cards up from Newlands Shopping Centre on Saturday December 8 from 10am to 3pm.

They are also available from participating shops and high street premises displaying an “indi” card window sticker. Alternatively you can apply online at www.braintree.gov.uk or call 01376 552525.

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