BLACKPOOL is set to be the first town in the UK to launch a loyalty card for those who serve their country.
The scheme will see serving military personnel and veterans offered discounts on goods and services from participating businesses.
It is hoped it will help consolidate the resort’s reputation as a welcome haven for people who have served in the forces.
Falklands War hero Simon Weston will officially launch the card during a visit to Blackpool on Friday.
The scheme has been set up by Supporting Our Brave, the community interest group based in Bank Hey Street which offers welfare support for former soldiers.
Project manager Julian Mineur said: “It is a well known fact Blackpool hosts more ex-service association reunions than any other place in the UK, as well as hosting the country’s biggest Armed Forces Week celebrations.
“This epitomises the great partnership between the veteran community and Blackpool Council. We estimate that some 40,000 veterans will visit the resort in 2011.
“We see many hundreds of veterans and their partners at our exhibition in Bank Hey Street and they spend thousands of pounds in the town boosting the local economy.
“The loyalty card is Blackpool’s opportunity to say thank you for your service to the crown. This is a totally free project as there is no charge to businesses wishing to offer a concession or discount. We also produce a directory of offers and supply window stickers to participating businesses.”
The loyalty card will be distributed free of charge to serving members of the armed forces and veterans on proof of service.
It entitles the card holder and their families to discounts at shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels but alcohol is not included in the discounts.
Mr Weston will launch the card during an event at Che Bar on Market Street.
He said: “It’s always a great pleasure for me to visit Blackpool where all veterans receive the warmest of welcomes.
“The loyalty card is a wonderful way of ensuring Blackpool leads the nation in honouring HM Armed Forces, past and present.”
Businesses wishing to participate by making an offer can contact Supporting Our Brave on (01253) 626666.