Totnes Pound



What is the Totnes Pound?

A LOCAL ECONOMY is like a leaky bucket – wealth comes in and as soon as it is spent at a shop or business that has more connections outside Totnes than inside Totnes, that money disappears. That’s the nature of Sterling.

LogoTotnesPoundHowever, local money doesn’t leak through the holes – it bounces around inside the local economy and maintains wealth. Local money helps us think about our local economy, enquiring where our money goes once we spend it and finding ways to keep it from leaking out.

If we use our money for production and consumption closer to home, we’re going to pay more attention to how those products are made, and the waste streams that result from them. It’s similar logic to the premise that the Bhopal disaster in India would not have happened if the battery factory had been in the back garden of the Chief Exec of Union Carbide.

• when spending Totnes Pounds, change can be given in either Totnes Pounds or Pounds Sterling
• the new series of Totnes Pounds has been designed by Rick Lawrence of Samskara Design, who lives and works in Totnes

Coming soon: electronic currency

Working in partnership with Bristol Pound, Totnes has won the opportunity to be the first town to implement new electronic currency software, offering a range of tools to make it easier for customers to fulfil their desire to buy local.

This opportunity comes through funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, as a result of an SBRI competition called ‘Re-imagining the High Street’.

The new electronic currency will enable customers to order with all participating businesses through a one-stop online shop, giving retailers a way of selling online they may otherwise be unable to offer. A ‘click and collect’ service will bring people into the high street and blend the convenience of online shopping with enjoying the diversity of the high street.

With the added ability to incorporate reward programmes and special offers, this local currency tool is designed to act as a strong marketing and loyalty tool for independent traders.

• Totnes Pound website

LATEST NEWS November 2014

click to go to live directoryDirectory: businesses accepting Electronic t£s
Above are the businesses where you can spend your Totnes Pounds, and Issuing Points where you can buy Totnes Pounds with sterling. More are being added all the time – you can make sure your business is on the map by registering here.
• many of these businesses have special offers for customers who pay with Totnes Pounds, check them out here
• click here to email Totnes Pound with any questions

PROJECT SUMMARY (from the Transition Town Totnes website)

The Totnes Pound is currently a physical local currency backed by Sterling and accepted in 70+ businesses in the town. It’s administered as part of the Transition Town Totnes initiative.

Project aim
To make sure that wealth stays in the community where it will can be used in a more conscientious way with lower carbon impact, lower ecological impact and higher resilience.

• we meet every two months in the TTT offices
• contact for more information: email, or telephone 07769 112102


THE TOTNES POUND was first launched in 2007 as a project of Transition Town Totnes. The new issue of notes in April 2014 is the fourth phase of the project:

totnespound02Phase 1,  May 2007
300 Totnes Pounds given into circulation at a “Transition and Economics” event in the town, 
18 shops accepted it.

totnespound03Phase 2,  August 2007
6,000 Pounds sold into circulation (T£10 for £9.50), 
50 shops/businesses accepted it.

totnespound04Phase 3,  January 2008
Phase 2 pounds nominally expired (we honoured them for at least 18 months after this)
replaced by new design of t£1 note
6,500 in circulation (T£10 for £10), 
75 shops/businesses accepted it.

totnespoundsnotesPhase 4, April 2014
Phase 3 pounds nominally expired (we will honour them for at least 18 months after this), 
replaced by new designs of t£1, t£5, t£10 and t£21 notes (click the image to enlarge).

ARTICLE from The Western Morning News, 6th July 2014

totnespound01aTHE POUND IN YOUR POCKET has a brand new buzz – and there’s not a thing the Bank of England can do about it. From the Bristol Pound to Bitcoins, campaigners are ditching Sterling for local currencies.

This autumn, Totnes in South Devon will launch a new “text-to-pay” scheme for independent traders which could eventually be rolled out nationally. The project, allowing payments by mobile phone, will extend the Totnes Pound, which was relaunched with new banknotes in May this year.

The pilot scheme will be run by the successful Bristol Pound organisation, which launched its own local paper and electronic currency in 2012. Bristol Pound has been given a £100,000 grant by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board for the project.

Mark Burton from the Bristol Pound said the scheme works through a secure online account. Users buy currency with pounds Sterling. When they go shopping they can text a code to the retailer and money is instantly transferred to the shop’s account.

The Bristol Pound – paper and electronic – is being used by about 1,200 individuals and 400 participating businesses. In total £350,000 of the local currency is in circulation. The aim is to promote local independent traders, and big corporate businesses are excluded from participating.

Mr Burton said the Government grant would be used to set up a system to run the scheme without Bristol’s reliance on volunteers.

John Elford from the Totnes Pound organisation said: “Nobody really knows the potential for local currencies. You are keeping the money locally instead of it going out to global corporations.”

Local people can buy (and sell) Totnes pounds through outlets in the town. The Sterling currency is banked as security, and the interest used to cover the cost of printing the high-quality and secure banknotes and administering the scheme.


3 thoughts on “Totnes Pound

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