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The Bristol Pound offers new local currency for Bristol

The Bristol Pound offers new local currency for Bristol
Bristol pounds

The city of Bristol today launches its local currency, the Bristol Pound. A Bristol Pound is worth the same as £1 sterling, but can only be used at local shops that are not part of a national chain. The aim is to support local and independent businesses.

The printed notes come in £B1, £B5, £B10 and £B20 denominations.

Will charity street collectors start finding these new notes in their collecting boxes or charity shops accept them? At launch it is unlikely, as amongst the 300 or so businesses that today accept the currency there are only two charities – The Salvation Army (via its five shops in Bedminster, Kingswood, Redland, Knowle West and Stokes Croft) and theatre company St Paul’s Players of Southville.

But it is possible that the currency might be taken up by local charities keen to stress their roots in Bristol, in contrast with national charities.

Anyone can use printed Bristol Pound notes. You can also set up a Bristol Pound account with Bristol Credit Union: this lets people manage their account and make online payments with electronic Bristol Pounds. Payment can also be made via text.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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