A new rewards scheme aimed at encouraging people to shop locally could be coming to Otley.

Phlok, which launched in Ilkley last year, uses a social digital media network and awards virtual currency to shoppers.

The initiative has now also been adopted by Boroughbridge, Wetherby and Skipton, along with four towns in North Yorkshire.

Rachelle Atkin of Otley-based business The Dandelion Consultancy is keen for Otley to get involved too – and helping arrange a meeting for traders in the town to find out more on Thursday, March 20.

She said: “Otley is currently being surrounded by towns joining the Phlok network.

“Through my involvement with the Otley Business Improvement District (BID) I feel passionate about improving Otley through the services and benefits we offer to both our residents and visitors alike. If we do not give this serious consideration we could miss out on local Phlok members not visiting our town because they cannot collect or redeem their points here.

“I do a lot of business in Ilkley and have begun to collect points whilst visiting the independent shops there, but unfortunately I cannot collect more points or redeem them in my hometown.

“It is for this reason that I am helping Phlok organise a meeting for all Otley businesses on Thursday, March 20 at 5.30pm at The Horse and Farrier pub on Bridge Street.”

The event will include a short presentation by Phlok’s chief executive, Paul Graham.

Mr Graham added: “We are immensely proud of what the company has achieved so far and believe that Phlok will encourage a revival in local shopping.

“Our overall aim is to get local customers to transact more often with local businesses and support a growing, vibrant community.”

About 600 businesses in 45 towns and villages across the UK and Ireland have now connected to the network.

l Otley Chamber of Trade launched its own Otley Loyalty Card Scheme in 2012.