What is Stroud Pound
The Stroud pound is a local, private currency that was introduced in the British town of Stroud, Gloucestershire in September of 2009. It was launched in support of an initiative to support and stimulate the local economy by encouraging consumers to buy local produce, goods and services, thereby encouraging the development of local businesses and jobs.
BREAKING DOWN Stroud Pound
The Stroud pound was inspired by and modeled after the chiemgauer, a local currency used in Germany’s Bavaria region. The Stroud currency is administered by the Stroud Pound Co-op Ltd., a non-profit enterprise run by volunteers. Every Stroud pound is recorded and backed by a sterling pound held in a dedicated bank account. The Stroud pound is a private currency, which are typically issued by a private firm or group to act as an alternative to a national currency. Private currencies are often backed by physical commodities, such as gold or silver, to increase the security of the currency, while limiting the effects of inflation on its value, since commodities often move closely in line with inflation.
The Stroud pound is not intended to replace the United Kingdom's official currency, the pound sterling. Rather, it is designed to be a complementary currency, rather than an alternative currency. It is issued in four denominations: £1, £2, £5 and £10. The currency banknotes are printed on special paper and incorporate multiple security features to discourage forgers.
To encourage the currency’s circulation, the Stroud pound system incorporates a number of features such as having a limited life of two years, losing value after six months and having a 5 percent redemption fee for traders. As of 2017, however, the Stroud pound appeared to no longer be trading.
The Stroud Pound as an Example of Fiscal Localism
At its most basic recognizable form, fiscal localism is the practice of buying locally. Supporters of fiscal localism believe that it helps communities to grow organically and more efficiently, allowing consumers and local businesses to better their local economy. By using a local currency such as the Stroud pound, a community may be able to better gauge its true economic performance.
Stroud Pound and Bioregionalism
More broadly, the Totnes pound is also an example of a complementary currency that exemplifies the concept and adoption of bioregionalism. Bioregionalism encourages citizens to become more intimately familiar with and dependent on local food, materials and resources as a way to become more self-sufficient. An example of bioregionalism would be an individual who establishes a local farm or garden at home, rather than buying vegetables at a big grocery store, because store-bought produce is dependent on petroleum, natural gas and chemicals used in pesticides, fertilizers, large-scale food production and shipping. Stroud pounds help stimulate bioregionalism because local currency emphasizes local products over those that were grown or created thousands of miles away.