This initiative is currently not actively being pursued, however if you are interested in The Worcester Pound feel free to contact Transition Worcester via the known methods as mentioned on the Transition Worcester contact page.
Making money work for Worcestershire local businesses and residents
The Worcester Pound £W is a creative and practical way for local people to make money work for Worcester. The Worcester Pound is essentially a voucher or token that can be traded locally as a complementary currency and used alongside Pounds Sterling.
Money spent locally circulates within, and benefits the local economy. Money spent in national chain stores doesn’t. As soon as money is spent at a chain store which has more connections outside the local area than inside, that money is lost and accumulates in multinational conglomerates’ accounts or with distant shareholders playing the stock market for a quick buck.
The Worcester Pound encourages demand for local goods and services. In turn this builds local community spirit, and resilience to the rising costs of energy, transport and food.
Worcester Pound is driven by three main considerations:
- Economic: According to the New Economics Foundation, money spent locally stays within the community and is re-used many times, multiplying wealth and building a stronger local economy.
- Environmental: Supporting local businesses and buying locally produced goods instead of foreign goods which are shipped to the UK and then sold to us in chain stores reduces the need for transport and minimises our carbon footprint.
- Social: By spending money in local outlets we can strengthen the relationships between local shopkeepers and the community. It also supports people finding new ways to make a living.
Worcester Pounds will initially only be a small part of any person’s spending or any business takings but as more people use £W the effect on the businesses that accept £W and the shopping experience of consumers will increase.
Signalling We Care About Worcester
Worcester Pound will be a signal that helps people who care about the future of our City to find and meet one another. The sign “WE TAKE WORCESTER POUNDS” will attract customers where several similar looking businesses compete and buyers have no easy means of choosing which to try first or identifying which is a Worcester based business.
The customer who asks “Do you take Worcester Pounds?” offers the business proprietor an opening to start a conversation and relationship with the customer that can generate future business.
There is nothing new about towns having their own local currency. Local currencies have existed since the beginning of civilisation, from the bead money of Papua New Guinea, which still exists, to the WIR, established between the World Wars and now used by 16% of Swiss businesses.
Such currencies are often created by local merchants, governments and citizens during times of great economic change, inflation or unemployment; recent examples exist in Argentina and Japan. The town of Berkshire in Massachusetts has issued over $1 million Berkshires into circulation since it began several years ago and this local currency is now accepted by over 300 shops and is also being accepted by shops in nearby towns.
UK towns that already use their own local currency include; Totnes, Lewes, Bristol and Brixton.
Tewkesbury and Exeter are about to launch their own town Pounds.
Other UK towns that are working to launch their own pounds include: Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford, Brighton, Cardiff, Plymouth, Kingstonand Torbay.