Britain's new currencies that launched in 2012
Bristol and Midhurst joined the ranks of local currencies this year in an attempt to keep money in their local economies.
Two new UK currencies launched this year, although they can only be spent in two areas of England.
Both are worth the same as ordinary pounds sterling and both were launched to try to boost retailers in their local areas.
First up was the Bristol Pound, which officially launched on the 19th September. It can be spent at businesses across the city, with plenty in the popular shopping areas around Gloucester Road, Bedminster and the Old City. There's a full list of retailers on the Bristol Pound website.
Pounds sterling can be exchanged for Bristol Pounds at six locations around the city, which are listed on the Bristol Pound website here. Some retailers are offering special discounts or promotions if you pay in Bristol Pounds.
You can also now open a Bristol Pound bank account via the Bristol Credit Union and get a free 5% bonus added to whatever you deposit.
And if you have an account, you can spend your Bristol Pounds online or on your mobile phone.
The Queen was presented with a set of notes when she visited Bristol during her Diamond Jubilee tour.
In a nice twist, the designs for the notes were all chosen as part of a city-wide competition. Winners included 10-year-old schoolgirl Jemima Blench, whose ‘Balloons’ features on one side of the B£20 note (pictured above).
The Midhurst Pound
A small town in West Sussex followed suit with its own currency this month, although the aim was rather more short term.
Around 30 businesses in Midhurst teamed up to launch the Midhurst Pound. They gave away free pound notes with purchases in a bid to attract shoppers from neighbouring towns and villages to come back in January, generally a very quiet time of year, and spend them.
Bristol and Midhurst aren't the only places to attempt to boost their local economies with their own currency. Totnes, Lewes, Brixton and Stroud have all tried the same thing. We'll follow up next year to see just how successful they have been.