Totnes pound

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Totnes pound

The Totnes pound () 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.


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]


  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". 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.