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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced a number of important dates in the rollout of the Spend Local pre-paid card.

Apply for High Street scheme ‘Spend Local’ prepaid card


As part of the NI Executive’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery programme, if you are resident in Northern Ireland and aged 18 or over, you are eligible to apply to receive a £100 Spend Local prepaid card to spend in local businesses across Northern Ireland.

How to apply


You will need an email address and your National Insurance number to apply online.

When you hit the green button below you will be asked to enter your email address.

Make sure that you manually enter your full email address, character by character, and do not use the autofill option.

You will then be sent an email with a link to continue the application. Remember to check your junk mail or spam folders.

Applying on behalf of someone else

If you want someone to apply on your behalf you will need to give them the details needed.  As this means sharing your personal data with them, the person who applies on your behalf should be someone you trust.

You can only apply on behalf of four others. This includes yourself. You must not make an application on behalf of anyone else without their permission.

Personal information

To apply, you will be asked for your:

  • National Insurance number
  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • sex
  • disability status (specifying if you have a visual impairment)
  • email address (this will be pre-populated)
  • telephone number
  • driving licence number (this is optional but will help speed up the checking process)

You will not need a nidirect (NIDA) account or to register on nidirect to apply.

Privacy information

You can get details about how your personal data is processed by the Department for the Economy at this link:

Apply for Spend Local pre-paid card(external link opens in a new window / tab)

By phone

A telephone support service is available until 25 October from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.

This service is specifically for those people who do not have access to, or are unable to use the internet. People who are able to apply online should do so, thereby making sure the telephone service is available for those who need it most.

  • Telephone application number: 0800 046 8330

Receiving the card

Once your information has been verified, your card will be posted to you or whoever you have applied on behalf of.

The scheme is open until 30 November.

It will take up to five weeks for all the cards to be delivered, giving everyone a minimum four weeks to spend the £100.

Key dates

  • 4 October – first Spend Local prepaid cards issue
  • 11 October – telephone service opens for applications
  • 25 October – online portal and telephone service for applications closes
  • 25 October – the last qualifying date for those turning 18 to be eligible to apply for a Spend Local card
  • 30 November – High Street Scheme closes and the Spend Local prepaid cards will cease to be valid

Card expiry date

All cards will expire at the end of November 2021.  You will not be able to use the card after this date.

Any balance remaining on the card after this date will be returned to the Department for the Economy.

Be scam aware

Scams may come in a variety of ways: post, phone, email, online, sometimes via a knock on the door.

It’s important to be vigilant and the Department for Economy advises that any person who receives any contact which they think may be a scam should contact Action Fraud online(external link opens in a new window / tab) or by phoning 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 8.00 pm.

The Department for Economy will never ask for your personal bank details.

Queries about the prepaid card scheme

The Department for the Economy(external link opens in a new window / tab) is responsible for this scheme.

Some frequently asked questions are available at this link:

If you have any further queries about the scheme, email SpendLocalNI@economy-ni.gov.uk or phone 08000 468 333. The phone line is available 24 hours a day.


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