As I was in Exeter last week for a meeting, I managed to make my first purchase in a shop using the new local currency – the Exeter Pound. Local projects like this have been put into place in a number of UK locations (eg Bristol, Brixton, Stroud and Lewes) to keep spending within the local community – promoting jobs and incomes, and contributing to the growth of sustainable and resilient businesses.
The Exeter Pound is equal in value to sterling, and can be spent in many businesses across the city. I am particularly fond of the £15E note, which pictures Jack Nowell – England rugby international and star of the Exeter Chiefs.
It might be worth getting students to discuss whether a ‘Local Pound’ scheme would work in their own community. What would they consider to be the advantages and disadvantages? They could debate how if every local economy became a circular economy, the country might be better protected against global economic cycles of boom and bust, food would be more likely to be sourced locally, a sense of place and belonging might be enhanced, and communities may become more cohesive.