Dear Totnes trader,
We are delighted to be able to let you know that the new paper Totnes Pounds (t£1, t£5, t£10 and t£21) will be officially launched in the Civic Hall on the evening of 20th May.
They have a number of security features, including security watermarked paper, holograms, engraved silver foil and serial numbers reversed out of gold foil. They also have QR codes printed on them, by which mobile phone and tablet users can connect immediately to the Traders Directory on the Totnes Pound website.
We have delayed the launch, which was originally planned for before Easter, in order to do the necessary preparation work to give the new Pounds as much momentum as possible. There will be a 5% launch discount on the first t£10,000-worth of notes that are sold through the Issuing Points: people will receive t£21 for every £20 sterling. We think that this will be a great way to get the notes into circulation speedily. When you redeem Totnes Pounds, you will receive £1 sterling for every Totnes Pound.
The new notes feature local heroes and heroines: Dorothy Elmhirst, Ben Howard, Charles Babbage and Mary Wesley. We are inviting relatives of theirs (and possibly Ben Howard himself) to attend the launch.
We will send round further emails in the run-up to the launch, but meanwhile if you have any questions please contact John Elford on 01803 867750 (email firstname.lastname@example.org). We all look forward to a successful launch of the new Totnes Pounds, which will help to attract customers to independent traders in Totnes and to maintain the town’s reputation as a pioneering community and seedbed of innovative social projects.
The Totnes Pound is planning to relaunch with a new set of professionally designed and printed notes. There will be denominations of t£1, 5, 10 and 21. The relaunch will include redesigned and improved marketing materials including point of sale, website, posters, window stickers and leaflets.
These plans have been developed following feedback from the participating businesses.
The Totnes Pound scheme involves a certain proportion of “leakage” – notes that leave Totnes never to return. Our experience over the years shows that this number can be conservatively estimated at 15%. Our intention is to accelerate adoption of the Totnes Pound by Consumers and Traders by using this leakage to finance a 6-month discount scheme that:
The Totnes Pound was launched as an initiative of Transition Town Totnes Economics and Livelihoods group in March 2007.
Economic localisation is considered to be a key aspect of the transition process, and local currency systems provide the opportunity to strengthen the local economy whilst preventing money from leaking out.
The benefits of the Totnes Pound are:
We hope that at a later stage additional benefits could include supporting the start up of new social, ethical and environmental businesses.
Anyone who live locally to Totnes can support the Totnes Pound by making a commitment use them. Using Totnes pounds is a visible ways of showing that you support the local economy and local businesses. Making a commitment to using the pound means trying to make sure that you always have some on you, for example T10 or T20. Then, after you have spent some, make sure that you get hold of some more, either in change from somewhere else, or from an issuing point. As more businesses begin to offer incentives for using Totnes Pounds it makes economic sense to make sure you have got some on you. The project is run by a group of volunteers who meet monthly to plan the development of the project and few other people who help with specific tasks. Anyone who is interested in supporting the project is welcome to get involved. If you have any questions about this project, or you want to get involved please contact us at email@example.com.
This project team normally meets on the first Monday of the month. Email us for details or check the calendar.
Totnes Pounds enter circulation when people choose to exchange their sterling currency into Totnes pounds at one of four places around Totnes. At present (NOTE UPCOMING CHANGES) the exchange rate is 1TP for £1.
Totnes Pounds can then be spent at participating businesses, of which there are currently around 70. Some of these are now offering discounts for certain purchases that are made in Totnes Pound to encourage usage.
People can exchange their Sterling into Totnes Pounds at a number of issuing points around Totnes. People can also accept Totnes Pounds in change from participating shops. This does not create new pounds, but does help them to circulate and enables shoppers to show their loyalty to the local economy.
Every Totnes Pound in circulation is therefore 'backed' by one pound of Sterling. This money is put into a bank account.
Totnes Pounds then circulate between consumers and businesses. Some businesses spend the Totnes Pounds that they receive with other local businesses. This strengthens the local economic multiplier, which means basically that money stays within the community rather than leaking out. If a business has an excess of Totnes Pounds they are able to exchange the surplus back for Sterling.
At the moment the project is managed by an unincorporated community association. However, the project team have been working with Co-ops UK to set up an Industrial and Provident society which will be the long term vehicle for managing the currency. This will ensure that the project is owned by the local community and run for its benefit.
Businesses that accumulate an excess of Totnes Pounds are able to exchange them back for sterling. However, we encourage them to think about how they can spend them themselves, to strengthen the 'local multiplier' and build new relationships.
In the longer term we plan to diversify the asset which backs the currency. In future it might be possible to back it with land, energy or labour. At this point the currency will be able to play an even more significant role in building economic resilience.
(NOT AN UP TO DATE LIST)
Cider Press Gift Shop
Cider Press, Dartington
Open: Monday - Saturday
74 High Street, Totnes
Open: Monday - Saturday
Open: Monday - Saturday
Fore Street, Totnes
Open: Monday – Friday, 10:30 – 5 pm (March to October)
Greenlife, Civic Square, Totnes
Open: Monday – Saturday, 9 – 5:30
Transition Town Totnes office
43 Fore Street, Totnes
The Totnes Pound has a core group of four volunteers who run the project. They are Noel Longhurst, Nigel Topping, Robert Jackson and Ben Brangwyn. There are a few other volunteers who also help with different tasks. More help is always welcome and the group are currently trying to secure funding for a project worker to give us more capacity and enable the project to be developed quicker.
The core group meets once a month, usually at 9am on the first Monday of the month. Anyone is welcome to join the group but it is a 'doing' group and members are expected to undertake tasks to help the project move forward.
The Totnes Pound is currently constituted as an unincorporated community organisation. However we are currently in the process of incorporating an Industrial and Provident Society to be the long term vehicle for the currency. This will ensure that it is owned by the local community and remains focused on supporting the local economy.
We aim to have at least one open meeting per quarter which gives people the opportunity to come and discuss their experience and ideas for the pound.
If you wish to contact the project you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07807 699532. (PLEASE NOTE NUMBERS AND EMAIL ADDRESSES WILL CHANGE)
Firstly, it encourages debate about the role that complementary currencies can play in local economic development. Other countries (such as the USA, Argentina, Japan and Germany) have a much richer history of experimenting with different types of money. The growth of LETS systems in the 1990s increased awareness of complementary currencies in the UK but there is still much less experimentation than in other countries. We hope the Totnes Pound will help to stimulate debate on this issue, particularly in the light of the 'credit crunch' which has been caused by the global monetary system.
Secondly, the media coverage has drawn attention to Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Transition Movement. It has been an excellent way of raising awareness of these issues and what we can do to try and address them. It has also generated a lot of media coverage for Totnes itself. This, we argue, is a indirect benefit to the local businesses and is important whilst the direct economic benefits of the Totnes Pound are currently small scale.
Finally, the project acts as an inspiration for other places to try and find ways of strengthening their own economies. Lewes are launching their Pound and in Lampeter they are hoping to reintroduce the Black Ox, a currency that used to exist in that area of Wales.
Whenever approached by the media we always explain that this is a serious, long-term project which is currently a small -scale experiment. Of course we have no control over how they end up presenting the Totnes Pound but we hope that most of the coverage helps to deliver the benefits described above