Local currencies

The new Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, has announced that he will take his £51 000 salary in Bristol Pounds – a local currency. (More details here.)

Local currencies have been part of numerous Transition initiatives in a number of places, particularly in the UK (including Totnes, Bristol, Brixton and Lewes). While local currencies have been around for centuries, they are receiving increased attention as ways of supporting local economies.

The idea is simple, money (printed or electronic) that can only be used in a specific region. It keeps keeps money from leaking out of the local area and encourages people to support local businesses and suppliers.

Locally, the Hunter LETS scheme is a form of local currency.

There is lots of information at the Bristol Pound’s website and the New Economics Institute has an article from 1988 by Robert Swann providing some interesting background on local currencies.


About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
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