SPARC is proposing to set up a Pennine Pound scheme, similar to those local currency schemes in Bristol, Totnes and Brixton. The Pennine Pound would work for communities, businesses and local people to create a fairer, stronger, happier local economy in towns and villages across the Pennines.
Supporting independent businesses
Our community spirit, creativity and freethinking attitude make the Pennines an incredible place to live. Much of this character is created and embodied by the local businesses in which we shop, eat and socialise. The Pennine Pound would support independent business by helping us commit to spend locally, and helps forge new business relationships because choosing the Pennine Pound would mean that businesses spend locally too.
Promoting local tourism
The Pennine Pound would also help promote local tourism and contribute towards increasing footfall in local shops and businesses. There would be something quite special and quirky about using a local currency such as the Pennine Pound. Particularly in our towns and villages rich in heritage, creativity, warmth and generosity, and forward thinking.
Keep money circulating locally
Using Pennine Pounds encourages the businesses you use to also spend more money locally, and so on. It is this continual circulation of money within the local economy that really builds the benefits of the Pennine Pound and makes it much more valuable than spending sterling.
We create more wealth because less money leaves our area and gets lost in complicated global financial systems. Sterling is not loyal; it goes wherever it can make more of itself, accumulating in tax havens, in big executive pay packets or with distant shareholders. Pennine Pounds stay working on the ground for us. They stick to the Pennines region creating stronger communities and a greener economy.
Make new friends and discover new businesses
Using the Pennine Pound is a great conversation starter; with each transaction you would get a little buzz from knowing that you, and the business, are contributing to something amazing. It’s a great way to discover our region and find amazing local businesses you might otherwise never have heard of!
Money with values
The Pennine Pound values our communities and the environment over shareholders and profit. Money and banking can be made to work for people rather than against them. Pennine Pound would be set up as a not for profit scheme run in partnership with the local Credit Union. The Credit Union provides financial services to all people in the community regardless of income. Anyone in the Pennines can be a member of the Pennine Pound; this is money that we can all control – not money that controls us.
We'd also set up electronic accounts to makes Pennine Pounds easy and convenient to use for the public and opens up the opportunities for business to business electronic payments.
All electronic accounts would be managed by the Credit Union on established and secure banking systems.