How to apply for Northern Ireland's £100 high street voucher
Applications for the £100 high street voucher opened this morning with reports of people experiencing difficulty with the email verification process.
The High Street Stimulus Scheme is for all those aged over 18 who are eligible for a £100 pre-paid card to spend on the high street, aimed at supporting local businesses.
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster that the email verification process for the voucher scheme is a measure designed to prevent the application site crashing.
He described it as 'a queue' suggesting the confirmation email will eventually land in inboxes later.
The Economy Dept says the High St voucher website has not crashed.— Darran Marshall (@DarranMarshall) September 27, 2021
Meanwhile… the website pic.twitter.com/nUuEU6vp3x
To apply for the scheme, simply click here.
Press the apply button and enter your email address.
A link will then be sent to your email inbox which will take you straight to the application form.
The form requires the following information:
- Your National Insurance number
- Your full name
- Your address and postcode
- Your date of birth
- Your sex
- Telephone number
- Disability including whether you have a visual impairment
- Driving Licence Number (optional)
- Your email address
Once submitted the applicant will receive an email confirming that their application has been received.
Cards are expected to arrive around a week to 10 days after application. The first cards are set to be issued on the week beginning October 4.
A phone service will open on October 11, for those who don't have access to the internet.
Applications are open until October 25.
The scheme had been due to open at the start of the year, but was delayed due to a fresh surge of Covid-19 cases.
Mr Lyons told MLAs last week the timing had been designed to plug a retail lag in the autumn before people start shopping for Christmas.
Retail NI has urged shoppers to consider making their application later in the week to avoid a rush on the first day and to reduce pressure on the online portal.
The group’s chief executive Glyn Roberts advised patience.
What you're likely seeing if trying to apply for the High Street Scheme right now. Certain inevitability of tens of thousands trying to access same site at the same time. Application portal is open until October 25, so no need to panic just yet. pic.twitter.com/nlOJaKIXdg— Ryan McAleer (@RyanMcAleerbiz) September 27, 2021
“If people can wait a few days before making their application, hopefully we can avoid any delays or problems with a rush on the online portal and they will receive their voucher on a timely basis,” he said.
“With a scheme of this ambition and size we are bound to experience some problems and would urge shoppers to be patient.
“As the scheme opens and consumers are thinking about how to spend their voucher, we would strongly encourage them to use with local independent retailers. 70p in every £1 pound spent with an independent retailer is recycled around the economy, supporting local producers and manufacturers.”