Bristol launches its own local currency, the Bristol Pound
Bristol launches the Bristol Pound, the city's own local currency.
Today sees the launch of the Bristol Pound, a local currency aimed at boosting the local economy in Bristol.
Bristol Pounds can be purchased at three venues: the Rummer Hotel, No.1 Harbourside and the Bristol Ferry Company. About £B125,000 is available in printed form from the outset.
The value of the Bristol Pound is exactly the same as usual sterling, and can be spent at any of the 300 local retailers taking part. What’s more, some of the retailers are offering discounts if your pay using the local currency.
Unlike local currencies launched in the past, you’re not restricted to spending Bristol Pounds in note form – you can also spend them online or via your mobile phone.
How it helps the local area
It’s a simple idea. You can only spend the money in the city, and by doing so you are keeping that cash in the local economy, supporting local businesses rather than national or even international firms.
But it doesn’t stop there. The shop where you spend that money then has to buy its stock locally too, or else pay a 3% fee to convert Bristol Pounds back into sterling.
There are all sorts of companies taking part, including cake designers, film rental stores, cafes, book stalls, security firms, florists, hairdressers, architects, web designers and solicitors.
You can find out more about the new currency on the Bristol Pound website.
Other local currencies
Bristol isn’t the only city or town to attempt to boost its local economy with its own currency. Totnes, Lewes, Brixton and Stroud have all tried the same thing, though just how successful they have been is open to debate.
What do you think? Would a local currency make you more likely to spend money with local stores? Would you like to see a local currency where you live? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
More from lovemoney.com: