Totnes pound

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Totnes pound
Demographics
User(s)Totnes

The Totnes pound (t£) was a complementary local currency,[1] intended to support the local economy of Totnes, a town in Devon, England. It was in circulation from March 2007 to June 2019, when it was discontinued due partly to an increasingly cashless economy.

History[edit]

The group argued that "Economic localisation is considered to be a key aspect of the transition process, and local currency systems provide the opportunity to strengthen the local economy whilst preventing money from leaking out".[2] Developed by Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande the scheme was partly modelled on BerkShares.[3]

The initiative was part of the Transition Towns concept, of which Totnes was a pioneer. According to the Transition Town Totnes website, this meant that Totnes was "a community in a process of imagining and creating a future that addresses the twin challenges of diminishing oil and gas supplies and climate change, and creates the kind of community that we would all want to be part of".[4]

The anticipated benefits of the Totnes Pound were:

  • To build resilience in the local economy by keeping money circulating in the community and building new relationships
  • To get people thinking and talking about how they spend their money
  • To encourage more local trade and thus reduce food and trade miles
  • To encourage tourists to use local businesses[2]

On 30 June 2019 the Totnes Pound was closed, due its declining usage caused partly by the rise of the cashless society.[5]

Value and usage[edit]

A Totnes Pound was equal to one pound sterling and was backed by sterling held in a bank account.

The Totnes Pound was re-launched in June 2014 in denominations of t£1, t£5, t£10 and t£21. The final designs featured author Mary Wesley, 'father of the computer' Charles Babbage, musician Ben Howard and social activist and philanthropist Dorothy Elmhirst.[6]

As of July 2014, more than 120 businesses in Totnes were accepting the Totnes Pound,[7] and more than £12,000 worth of the currency had been issued.[8]

Description of notes[edit]

The paper Totnes Pounds were printed on plasticised paper and had a number of security features including: watermarks, a hologram, engraved silver foil and iridescent ink.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The town already has its own currency, the Totnes pound" in "Devon town bids for eco status[permanent dead link] (retrieved 20 June 2008)
  2. ^ a b The Totnes Pound Project Archived 2008-04-28 at the Wayback Machine, April 2008
  3. ^ "They don't just shop local in Totnes - they have their very own". Independent.co.uk. 30 April 2008.
  4. ^ Transition Town Totnes Archived 2008-04-17 at the Wayback Machine, April 2008
  5. ^ "Totnes pound: Currency killed by 'cashless economy'". BBC News. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Meet the new faces of local currency". 28 May 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  7. ^ Woodruff, Graham. "Totnes Pound".
  8. ^ "Banknotes, local currencies and central bank objectives" (PDF). Bank of England. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Security Features". Totnes Pound. Retrieved 17 December 2016.