Yesterday saw the launch of Bristol’s own currency (Bristol Pound) - culminating in an evening of local festivities in a night market in the Old City/St Nicholas Market. Lots of people attended, plus an assortment of journalists and television crews from near and far (eg. Russia, China, Ukraine, Belize and Singapore if “The Independent” newspaper is to be believed!).The not-for-profit scheme has been launched to encourage residents to buy locally produced goods from the independent retailers which accept them rather than chains and megastores.
Moira+I chatted to our friend Chris Sunderland, one of the organisers, as we queued in the Corn Market to purchase our Bristol Pounds and he was obviously very pleased with the response (they’d had to organise two extra deliveries of notes during the course of the day!).
£B125,000 worth of notes have been printed and it’s hoped that £B500,000 will be in circulation within a year (you can also pay for goods by text message – allowing independent retailers to accept non-cash payments without having to go to the expense of setting up a credit card machine). Around 300 independent businesses have signed up so far, but the organisers hope that more than 1,000 will soon be involved.
As you might imagine, as someone who absolutely detests the takeover of our High Streets by the big supermarkets (I might just have mentioned this in a couple of previous blogs!), I’m a keen supporter!
If you live in Bristol, PLEASE participate... you KNOW it makes sense!
Photo: Bristol Pound notes (including £1P notes!) – designed by local artists.