Thornton’s Budgens is set to trial a pioneering loyalty card this month.

The Thornton’s Budgens Love Local community card was “not your average loyalty card” as it would turn points into funding for local community projects, said owner Andrew Thornton.

It is understood to be a Musgrave GB initiative that will be trialled by other Budgens retailers over the coming months.

In a letter to customers, Thornton said: “Through this, you the shoppers of Crouch End and Belsize Park, will have more say in the initiatives we support, as you will nominate the local projects and good causes that will be receiving the money.

“It means we’ll be able to work with more community groups next year and the more you shop with us and back us as your local community store, the more we’ll be able to put back into our community.”

The community card will be store-specific, so shoppers will be able to use the card at either to its Crouch End and Belsize Park Budgens stores in London but not both. It will replace the retailer’s Pennies for Plastic scheme, which donates 1p to local good causes for every bag that a customer does not use.

Pennies for Plastic has saved 12.5 million carrier bags from being used and has raised £125,000 for more than 40 local community projects since launching in June 2007.

“Currently, times are testing our resolve and creativity,” Thornton added. “If we are to continue helping local good causes and the communities where we trade we need to do things radically different.”