An entrepreneur born and bred in Lewisham has embarked on a new venture to encourage shoppers to spend their money locally.

The Lewisham Card, a borough wide discount scheme, has been rolled out by 23-year-old Thomas Page, with more than 100 businesses signed up so far.

From The Station Hotel pub in Hither Green to Stag And Bow - a craft shop in Forest Hill - the scheme has captured the interest of local retailers.

As well as shops and restaurants, discounts are also available from businesses offering services like driving lessons and personal training sessions.

Thomas’ idea was inspired by visits to see family in York, where independent boutiques have thrived thanks to booming business from locals and tourists.

He told News Shopper: "I have always thought about ways to improve the local area because Lewisham has tended to be a place people have made jokes about - I wanted to play my part in trying to improve it."

News Shopper:

Cynthia Lamptey, Lewisham Card founder Thomas Page and Katherine Purse.

Shoppers who have bought the £10 card can enjoy year-long discounts, which vary from place to place.

Thomas, who lives in the centre of Lewisham, said having grown up through the recession and current austerity measures, the future looked bleak for young people in the borough.

But he is determined to invest in his hometown, and encourages others to do the same.

He added: "I think there's a general movement behind supporting local independent businesses now that there wasn't maybe five years ago.

"We just started going around businesses and asking if they would like to be involved with the scheme.

"They liked the idea of promoting their local businesses and residents being incentivised to come in to their shops."


Market research shows that for every pound spent in large stores only 40p is reinvested in the local area, compared to 63p for every pound spent in a small to medium sized local business.

The card is currently only available to buy online  with hopes to begin stocking it in shops from early next year.