8 December 2016

Local currency designed to boost local economy

Citizen collective Glasgow Pound Working Group (GPWG) are looking at ways to implement a citywide community currency to build a stronger local economy and get credit back into local people’s hands.

The initiative is working alongside groups such as the New Economics Foundation thinktank, Castlemilk Timebank, a community skills group and the People’s Bank of Govanhill.

Having held their People Powered Money: Building a community currency for Glasgow conference hosted by Glasgow City Council, the group is inviting people to an event on February 2 2017 to develop ideas on what a successful local economy would look like with a city-wide currency.

Speaking to CommonSpace, a spokesperson for the GPWG said: “All over the world, community groups are ‘taking back the economy’ and re-designing money to better serve their needs.

“We want to show the many different forms community currencies can take, as well as the things they share in common – helping people to reclaim knowledge and power over our economies from the big private banks and re-design our systems of exchange to create more equal, sustainable and connected societies.

“We want you to be inspired by the success of local economy initiatives in Scotland and beyond and then to contribute your ideas about how we can work together to re-think Glasgow’s money system.”

Looking at other examples inside the city, Scotland and around the UK, the group has said that the local economy is key to rejuvenating many areas which suffer from a lack of sustainable investment. At next year’s event people will be invited to Theory of Change (ToC) workshops that will help them think about the outcomes they want to create in the city.

For example, the Bristol Pound was the UK’s first citywide local currency and is now used to pay business rates, council tax, energy bills and train tickets. Since its launch in 2012, nearly 2 million Bristol Pounds have been put into circulation boosting the local economy.

Nathanael Williams