GIFT cards worth a total of £450,000 are being sent out to households across East Renfrewshire in a bid to encourage people to support local businesses when doing their Christmas shopping.

The Scotland Loves Local cards are being issued by East Renfrewshire Council, which says the pre-paid cards are designed to drive local spending and encourage people to try out new businesses.

They can only be spent at businesses in the area who have signed up to be part of the initiative.

More than 100 companies in the area are already signed up to the scheme, which is free to join.

Twenty-eight of those are in Barrhead and four in Neilston, while there are 24 in Newton Mearns, 22 in Clarkston, 15 in Giffnock and 13 in Thornliebank.

Businesses who wish to sign up can do so at

To find out who is already involved, and where you can spend the card once it arrives, visit