Release Date: 23-Jan-2012
An innovative scheme that boosts local businesses and benefits thousands of local people celebrated its continuing success on Saturday (21 January), at an event hosted by Huddersfield Town and attended by local business owners and tenant representatives.
Cora Carter MBE (Chair of KNH); John & Ben Jebson (scheme members); Sean Jarvis (Huddersfield Town FC) and Helen O'Sullivan (KNH Excel Manager
The KNH Excel discount card enables qualifying council tenants and leaseholders to save money on goods and services at over 200 businesses across Kirklees. The scheme also includes great offers from its three major corporate members – Kirklees Active Leisure, which runs the municipal sports facilities in the district, Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants.
As well as getting great offers at participating businesses, cardholders can also make huge savings on Town and Giants match tickets.
Launched in 2007, the discount card won the prestigious ‘most innovative project’ award from the National Federation of ALMOS in the same year.
It was the first scheme of its kind in the country to have been completely developed in-house by staff from Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) and tenants’ representatives working with business owners to develop a “local card for local people.”
The discount card is one of a number of initiatives developed by KNH to support the work of the Council to help lead Kirklees out of recession. Supporting small businesses also helps the housing company with its mission to help develop successful communities, as such firms play an essential role in helping areas thrive.
Everyone who qualifies for the card receives a brochure listing them all and there’s a searchable directory on the KNH website – www.knh.org.uk.
Business owners also receive a card and are encouraged to display scheme posters and window stickers to show people that they are involved in the scheme.
John Jebson, owner of Town Centre Beds, was one of those attending the launch. He said: “The discount card is a great idea. We’ve been retailing beds in Huddersfield for 30 years now so we thought this would be a good way to give a little back to the community which has supported us for so long.”
Simon Rogers, Chief Executive of KNH, said, “we are really pleased to be launching the 2012 discount card.”
“Unfortunately, some of our local business have fallen victim to the recession, but I’m delighted that so many have stayed with us and that many new businesses have joined for the first time.
“These are difficult times for our customers as well as the businesses, and the card is one very practical way we can help them make the most of limited budgets. So I hope everyone who gets a card uses it. They’ll save money but they’ll also help support local businesses, which are an essential part of our communities.”
Cllr David Sheard, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I am very pleased with the work KNH is doing to help the Council deliver one of its key priorities, which is to support local businesses.
“The KNH scheme is an excellent example of how we can work together to help people, especially in these difficult times.”
Sean Jarvis, Commercial Director at Huddersfield Town is also a keen supporter of the card and the ideas behind it.
He said: “Anything that encourages businesses to communicate and attract new customers in these difficult times is surely a good and positive thing. Huddersfield Town is keen to support the scheme and we hope that everyone who gets one uses it.”
The discount card is part of KNH Excel, an incentive scheme that recognises and rewards good tenants and encourages others who might have rent arrears to clear their accounts and keep to their tenancy conditions. It is part of a range of measures developed by KNH to increase rent collection, which in turn ensures the company can deliver core housing services such as repairs and estate improvements.
Any businesses wanting to join the free scheme can call 01484 223246 for more information.