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Stroud Pound unveiled

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: September 16, 2009

  • Paul Barnett of Friends of Purton, Charles Tongue from Stroud Book Shop, Stroud Pound director Molly Scott Cato, Laurie Lee's widow Cathy, designer Ronan Schoemaker and Exchange project director Clare Mahdiyone at the launch of the new notes.

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The designs for the alternative currency which aims to keep cash in Stroud has been launched.

The Stroud Pound will shortly be in circulation with Cider With Rosie author Laurie Lee on the fiver.

The project hopes to fend off the recession by keeping money inside the Five Valleys, allowing shoppers to use the notes in participating businesses.

Economist Molly Scott Cato, of the Stroud Proud Co-operative, said: "What makes Stroud better is that we have a lot of local producers here. We hope there will be a synergy between consumers and producers.

"Green economists hope to achieve this closed loop."

Stroud-born Laurie Lee, who later lived in Slad, was chosen for his 'socialist principles' and commitment to the area.

The launch in Threadneedle Street was attended by Dr Peter North, a currency expert from Liverpool University.

People, businesses and charities wanting to use the Stroud Pound must join a co-operative. Members can then buy the currency at a rate of £1 sterling per unit in denominations of £1, £2, £5, £10 and £20 at a later date.

Three per cent of the money exchanged for the vouchers will go to local good causes. The currency will also be devalued after six months to encourage spending.

The bank notes feature iconic images of the Stroud valleys, including lawnmower inventor Edwin Beard Budding from Thrupp and the Gloucestershire Old Spot pig.

The group was partly inspired by the Chiemgauer in Germany. Similar experiments are underway in Lewes, Sussex, and Totnes, Devon.

The name Stroud Pound drew with Teasel in a poll in Stroud Life but was deemed to have more credibility.

Teasel will remain the informal name because of the plant's traditional use in the local cloth industry. It will be the logo displayed in the windows of participating stores.

Around 15 businesses are participating but it is hoped that number will grow once the currency becomes known.

For details, ring Molly on 01453 764 730.

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