25 Jun 2007
Second Release of the Totnes Pound Launched!
This week sees the release of the new edition of **Totnes Pounds**. The Totnes Pound is an initiative of Transition Town Totnes, and follows on from the first pilot scheme which ended at the end of May, in which 300 notes were put into circulation. The first notes, one side of which carried a facsimile of an 1810 Totnes bank note, were very popular, with shops, businesses, shopkeepers and tourists alike. The main findings from the research that was done upon its completion were that the notes were too big, there weren’t enough of them, and many people kept them as souvenirs rather than spend them. The new notes have been designed to overcome many of these problems.
The new notes are smaller (the size of a £5 note), have a number of security features such as heat-sensitive ink, individual numbering and ultra violet ink, and will be issued in batches of 2,000, with 10,000 in total being printed. The notes will be sold into circulation. For £9.50 sterling, people will be able to buy £T10, which will be accepted in over 30 local shops and businesses. 5 Totnes shops will act as the Issuing Points where people can buy them. The hope is that if this second pilot, which is planned to run until December 31st, is successful, that a full currency will be launched, with the full spectum of notes, sometime early in 2008.
The Pound had 3 official launches last week! Firstly it was launched at a meeting of Totnes and District Chamber of Commerce, who were very enthusiastic, then at Schumacher College as part of a talk by the economist Wolfgang Sachs, and finally, on Friday, in the Market Square in Totnes, with an introduction from the Town crier and the Mayor. The notes themselves will be available this week. This Wednesday evening at 8pm at Birdwood House on Totnes High Street there will be a public meeting about the Pound, designed to achieve the following;
* explain the current status of the Totnes pound
* discuss the short term requirements of the rollout of phase 2 of the Totnes Pound
* discuss the longer term aspects of the rollout
* allocate some tasks, such as liaising with businesses and with the 5 issuing points
* bring you up to date with some funding opportunities
* give you the chance to buy the first ones off the press
For those of you from further afield, I will also be making it possible for you to buy Totnes Pounds as momentos through this website, just as soon as I have figured out how to do it. The Pound’s press coverage has continued, with the BBC running an update on it, PrintWeek.com, an online journal for the print industry, running a piece about the company who print them, as well as our getting a mention in a piece in the Times about Berkshares. There was also some interesting discussion about the scheme in a discussion thread at the Money Saving Expert Forum.