The Stroud local currency (‘Stroud Pounds’) is an initiative to support and stimulate
the local economy. It has been designed to benefit consumers, traders, businesses
and local charities. Lots more frequently asked questions about the Stroud pound
are answered here.
District Councillor Philip Booth has said:
"The Stroud Pound is all about strengthening our local economy, building
new relationships and making us think about how we spend our money.
I love the reaction to people seeing the beautiful Stroud notes. It gets
people talking. After all listening and conversing is part of how change happens.
Stroud Pounds aren't the whole answer but are part of the shift that
needs to happen to relocalise and build resilience for our future."
What are the benefits of a local currency?
A local currency serves the local economy and the common good by:
· Committing consumers into buying locally;
· Encouraging the development of local businesses and jobs;
· Stimulating the local circulation of goods and services;
· Assisting the local sourcing of goods helps to reduce CO2 emissions;
· Strengthening Stroud’s independent spirit;
· Preserving the area’s distinctive sense of place;
The money we use for most of our transactions (Pounds Sterling) is tied into a system
of global transactions and processes that do not serve people in Stroud particularly
A sizeable proportion of each pound spent goes to service debts in the global economy
draining resources away from the area and reducing the viability of local services.
The current turbulence in the financial markets also suggests that global currencies
may not be a secure basis upon which to organize our economic life. top
What's so good about spending locally?
Many local businesses are in direct competition with national chains, the internet
and large suburban shopping centres. When 'big business' wins, another local shop
closes or a small business goes bankrupt.
What do you mean by money ' draining resources away from the area’ ?
Local businesses spend their money locally. By contrast, money spent in, for example,
Tesco leaves Stroud for Tesco HQ. We want to keep money circulating within Stroud
District - to the benefit of local people. top
I already shop locally. Why should I join?
If you already shop locally then come and join us. We need your support! When a
community works together it can flourish, even in harsh times like a recession. Supporting
the local currency is one way that we can show commitment to each other and to a
sustainable future. It’s not about ‘me’, it’s about ‘us’. top
Why do I have to pay to join?
The scheme is run entirely by volunteers. Transition Stroud and Stroud Town Council
donated £500 each towards set-up costs but there are always ongoing costs of printing,
postage, venue hire, promotion etc.
I lost out with the Stroud LETS scheme. Can I lose money?
No. Every Stroud Pound issued is recorded and backed by a Sterling Pound in a dedicated
bank account. To date, (November 2009) there are £3,612 Stroud Pounds in circulation
and a matching £3,612 Sterling in a special Co-operative Bank savings account. top
Why will the currency lose value after six months?
One of the most important ways to revive the economy is by increasing the amount
of money in circulation. Having a date by which consumers must spend their money
means that it is kept in circulation.
What about small change?
The notes can be purchased in four denominations (£1, £2, £5, £10). Where change
of less than £1 is needed, sterling pennies are used. top
What about taxation?
From a tax perspective, anything paid for in Stroud Pounds is accounted for in the
same way as pounds.
Can the notes be forged?
The notes are printed on special paper with many security features including a watermark
and ultra-violet reactive ink. This makes forgery difficult and too expensive to
be worthwhile. top
Why is there a 5% redemption fee for traders?
Ideally traders will use their Stroud Pounds to buy goods or services from other
participating traders or pass them on as change to participating consumers. If so,
they will not need to redeem them at all. In any case, only a certain amount of
trade will be done in Stroud Pounds.
There are costs in setting up and running the scheme, e.g. printing vouchers, promotion,
administration and advertising. The organisers are not paid. Of the 5% redemption
fee, 3% goes towards local charities and only 2% towards the costs of running the
How long has the Stroud Pound been going?
There was a special launch in September 2009 to promote the currency and bring the
first notes into circulation. See here for a report on the launch. top
How long will the scheme last?
Stroud Pound vouchers have a limited life of two years. After this replacement ones
are issued. After a further year they can no longer be redeemed.
Local currency vouchers will have a limited life of two years. After this replacement
ones will be issued. After a further 6 months they can no longer be redeemed.
New vouchers will be printed as required to fulfill demand but all notes in circulation
will be backed by an equivalent amount of pounds sterling. top
Is it legal tender?
The Stroud Pound is complementary currency, not an alternative currency and is not
intended to replace Sterling. The money will be legal as a voucher but it is not
legal tender. This means that there is no obligation to accept it. top
Why buy apples from New Zealand when there are orchards in Gloucestershire?