Stratford-upon-Avon businesses are already making money in the run up to Christmas, buy printing their own “Stratford pounds”.

The initiative, organised by the area’s Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID), involves the distribution of £100,000 worth of vouchers in places such as Solihull, Warwick and Leamington – redeemable at participating restaurants in the historic town.

The move is part of plans to encourage more visitors and shoppers into the town in the lucrative festive period.

Jonathan Birkett, Stratforward BID project director, said: “We are distributing £5 and £10 ‘Stratford pounds’ to encourage shoppers from out of town to come and visit us and enjoy a festive feast.”

The pounds will be given out from special advertising vans touring the town centres.

The Stratford Fiver will be redeemable against a total food and drinks bill of £20 or more, and the Stratford Tenner for bills totalling £40 or more.