People can now give the gift of a night out in Canterbury with the launch of the new Night Out Gift Card.
Canterbury has recently been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag status for night-time safety initiatives for the eleventh year, and city leaders are now building on this success with a new initiative to support the night time economy.
Launching on Valentine’s Day and led by Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID), the Canterbury Night Out Gift Card is designed to drive footfall to the city’s evening and night time businesses, including restaurants, theatres, pubs, clubs and hotels.
An extension of the city’s popular Canterbury Gift Card, the card already counts Hampton by Hilton, Nando’s, Cosy Club, Club Chemistry, Tokyo Team Rooms, ABode and The Marlowe Theatre among some of the businesses where the Night Out Gift Card can be spent.
Canterbury achieved the prestigious Purple Flag award for the eleventh time in 2023 in recognition of the city’s efforts to offer a high standard of safety, entertainment and diversity to people enjoying a night out, and is the only accredited Purple Flag destination in Kent.
Purple Flag recognises areas going above and beyond to work with partners and the public to make steady improvements to safety in the evenings and to support the night-time economy.
Canterbury is accredited as having taken significant steps to make the city centre as safe as possible for those enjoying a night out, and work proactively with the local authorities to create a positive night-time environment. Initiatives include Best Bar None accreditations, Ask for Angela policy, Safe Zone App (for students and residents), Zero Tolerance training, 12 Refuge Points plus enhanced lighting and CCTV.
The Canterbury Gift Card was introduced in November 2020, with almost £100,000 in gift card sales to date. Lisa Carlson, CEO of Canterbury BID, believes the new Night Out Gift Card has a wide appeal:
“Canterbury has a strong and attractive night time economy with lots of new investment and new businesses opening. It is home to gems such as The Marlowe, named as Theatre of the Year at the 2022 Stage Awards, and has a thriving arts scene through The Canterbury Festival spanning music, theatre, cabaret and comedy.
“The Canterbury Night Out Gift Card is us highlighting all that we have here in Canterbury in the evening, wrapped up into one gift card. You can gift the experience of a night out in Canterbury, whether that’s dinner and a show, shopping and a hotel stay, or exploring Canterbury’s bars and clubs. The diversity of the evening and night time offering in Canterbury makes the Night Out Gift Card appealing to a range of audiences, from our student population to corporate businesses, visitors and locals.
“Introducing the Canterbury Night Out Gift Card in the eleventh year of our Purple Flag status as a city feels like a fitting tribute to the work that has been undertaken in the city to make Canterbury a destination for a safe and enjoyable night out, and is an ideal way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the love we have for our city businesses.”
One of the businesses which accepts the Canterbury Night Out Gift Card is multi-award winning The Cook’s Tale, led by chef Dev Biswal, and voted one of Britain’s 30 best restaurants for a curry. Dev said:
“We’ve already seen good redemptions through the Canterbury Gift Card, so we are pleased to be a part of the Canterbury Night Out Gift Card. It is a good way to encourage people to support local.
“Canterbury already has a thriving night out scene. It is charming and pretty. Cities at night can feel intimidating, but Canterbury feels safe and family friendly, and as most venues are in close proximity, it is easy to walk between them.
“As a fine dining restaurant in the back streets of Canterbury, we rely on recommendations from neighbouring pubs, bars and hotels. The Night Out Gift Card encourages that collaboration further, and helps Canterbury to compete with other towns and cities for our share of night out guests.
“When you go for an evening out, it is the people you meet that make your experience and we do our best to make that experience the best it can be. This Valentine’s Day, we have a 12 course tasting menu and invite Canterbury Night Out Gift Card holders to spend them with us.”
4 star luxury hotel ABode Canterbury, part of the Andrew Brownsword Collection, features on the new Canterbury Night Out Gift Card. Hannah from ABode believes there is a magic about Canterbury at night:
“I think the gift card could encourage people to see Canterbury in a different way, as more than just a place to shop. It blends history with modernity and is one of those cities where there is something to do at all times of day. But there is a real magic about Canterbury at night when the city is lit up and the Cathedral lights can be seen for miles around. It’s atmospheric, inviting and exciting, and offers a new experience of the city.
“The luxury of the card is the choice on offer. You could give the card to a student to enjoy Canterbury’s bars and food with friends, to your parents to experience a 4 course wine dinner in ABode’s 3 AA Rosette restaurant, or to your grandmother to enjoy an evening at the theatre and drinks at our Champagne Bar.”
A number of Shepherd Neame pubs, including The Shakespeare, Ye Olde Beverlie, The Parrot, The Bishops Finger, Old City Bar, Cricketers and The White Hart are part of the new Canterbury Night Out Gift Card. Joanna Richardson, Director of Marketing and Communications at Shepherd Neame said:
“Our pubs are located in some of Canterbury’s most historic and atmospheric buildings, offering a warm welcome, local independent beers, delicious food and everything from pub quizzes, live music and comedy nights to sharing platters and freshly baked Turkish Pide.
“Canterbury is well located with fantastic transport links and vibrant nightlife. The Night Out Gift Card is an opportunity to give people a flavour of what they could do on a night out in Canterbury, appealing to a wide range of ages and interests. I think the diversity of the offering on the gift card is key, encouraging people to visit Canterbury and extend their stay in our city.”
Created by fintech Miconex, the Night Out Gift Card is a national brand underpinned by the award winning Town & City Gift Card concept, and is the first specific night out proposition for the Perth based operator.
Miconex received the Small to Medium Business of the Year award at the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) Hall of Fame awards in September 2022 in recognition of the firm’s efforts to stimulate local economies and support local businesses.
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said:
“Canterbury is a lively university city with a fascinating history, a strong tourism economy and an enticing array of after 5pm venues and businesses. Demand for leisure and experience gift cards rose significantly in 2021. The Canterbury Night Out Gift Card takes the technology behind the Canterbury Gift Card, repackaging it into a product that appeals to the leisure, experience and night out consumer. Through the Night Out Gift Card, Canterbury can drive footfall and spend to an extensive range of evening and night time economy businesses in the city.”