It's a festive period like no other: Lockdown and restrictions are impacting our ability to get out and Christmas shop, like we have done in previous years. 

However, many Stoke-on-Trent City Centre businesses are offering online services so that customers can still buy their products and experiences, and support them throughout the festive season. Though non-essential shops and venues remain closed until at least 2 December, there are still plenty of ways you can get those pressies ticked off your Christmas list - all the while shopping local.

Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID has put together a handy list to help you bag some unique gifts and experiences for your loved ones this year, whilst supporting your city centre and the local economy; something that's of great importance given the challenging circumstances many small business owners have found themselves in in 2020 due to COVID.

Richard Buxton, Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID Manager said: “High Streets across the country are going through a challenging time due to COVID and it’s important to note that everybody can play a part in shopping locally and energizing the city centre for the future, even when restrictions are in place!

“Usually at this time of year, we would be encouraging people to come into the city centre to do their Christmas shopping, but this year we are pleased that so many city centre businesses have adapted their offering and started to utilise online services so that customers can continue to support them in a COVID-safe manner. 

“Please take a moment to consider supporting such businesses and ensuring that you do your part to support and boost the local economy. Suggested presents in the list below include gift vouchers for dining, thrilling experiences, jewellery, prints, and more, so there’s something in the city centre that suits all of your loved ones – no matter their interests!” 

Scandi-influenced NØRTH Kitchen + Bar located on Piccadilly have pay forward vouchers available to purchase from their website at values from £20 to £100 so people can enjoy brunch, lunch, evening meals, coffee and cocktails there in the future: Plus, they have a great merch line which make the perfect present for the fashion conscious and indie lovers in your life:

XP-VR, an immersive virtual reality entertainment venue located on Piccadilly, is set to welcome lots of Christmas-themed games when they reopen post lockdown but they also have VR headset rental for families to enjoy at home – and it’s just £60 for 24 hours! Additionally, they also have gift vouchers available to purchase via their website at

The Quarter, located on Piccadilly, is a café, bar and bistro with something on its extensive of menus to suit everybody, be it breakfast, lunch, a three-course dinner, coffee and cake or cocktails. With that in mind, a gift voucher is the perfect gift for the foodie in your life, and they can be purchased here:

Give the gift of a dining experience at Piccadilly’s floral escape, Bloom – their show-stopper cocktails are an absolute highlight. Shop gift vouchers by giving the venue a call at 01782 698858.

Vision Personalised Gifts are a new gift shop located on Piccadilly that specialise in making your products truly bespoke by personalising them with a name or a message. Check out the range and place your order here:

For a Christmas gift with a difference, why not give the gift of a real thrill at Escape Stoke? There’s all sorts of themed rooms, including Witchcraft & Wizardry, Area 51, The Da Vinci Code, Taken, Casino Heist and Escape the Seven Seas and gift vouchers are available to purchase here:

For horror enthusiasts and those who don’t scare easily, how about a gift voucher for Paralysis Escape Rooms? And for those who love their horror classics, you can also get your hands on some incredible prints from your favourite films here:

Screen printing studio We are Culla, located on Piccadilly, have been working with local city centre music venue and nightclub The Sugarmill on a merch line so people can support the two independent businesses: 

For a Christmas gift that shines and sparkles, there are two independent jewellers in the city centre that can help you find the perfect item for your loved one. 

- CJ Skelhorne, a family-run jeweller trading since 1982, is located in Piccadilly Arcade. A selection of their impressive ranges spanning jewellery, watches, keepsakes and silverware, can be viewed on their website: and the team are on hand to offer their expertise and to help you find the perfect gift, including bespoke items, via 01782 279547 or 

- Browse the range of luxury jewellery available at Goodwins Jewellers located on Hope Street. Established in 1874, they provide cutting-edge jewellery at competitive prices:

Though they’re not technically small businesses, these organisations bring something special to our city centre and deserve some support this Christmas. Plus, they have the perfect gifts for the bookworms and movie lovers in your life:

- At Waterstones you'll find a wide specialist range, genres to suit every reader, and books for all ages and interests. Gift vouchers can be bought online here:

- We’re all missing the big screen so giving a gift voucher for Cineworld is the perfect way to support the industry we all love so much, whilst getting excited for those new releases in 2021! Purchase them here:




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