MARKET traders will be issued with credit card machines as part of a new council pilot scheme to capitalise on demand from shoppers.
The new project, which will be discussed at a meeting of cabinet members on January 15, is part of a bid to encourage market traders to take payment by card, rather than just cash.
An officers’ report to go before cabinet states that: “Increasingly, shoppers wish to make payments by debit or credit card, and it is important that we move in this direction to ensure the ongoing health and viability of the market”.
The trial scheme would see a number of card payment machines issued to traders on a temporary basis, to allow the council to demonstrate the benefits of this approach – and then encourage market traders to offer the payment method in the future. The funding for the scheme has come from the £100,000 awarded to the council through the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund earlier this year.
Some of the cash pot – to be used for projects to help revitalise town high streets – has already been spent on three schemes. Some £20,000 was used to back the Love Ormskirk campaign, while a scheme to provide business rate discounts for firms taking on empty units was launched in November.
The third project will see an indoor play area installed in the Concourse, in Skelmersdale, to boost visitor numbers and increase trading potential for tenants.
Any remaining funds from the £100,000 pot will be used to top-up the £265,000 already set aside by the council for improvements to Moor Street.