Stroud Pound

What Is the Stroud Pound?

The Stroud pound is a private currency introduced in the British town of Stroud, Gloucestershire, in September 2009. It was launched to support the local economy by encouraging consumers to buy local produce and other goods and services, thereby encouraging the development of local businesses and jobs.

Key Takeaways

  • The Stroud pound is a local currency for the British community of Stroud, Gloucestershire.
  • First issued in 2009, the goal is promote local economic activity and community businesses.
  • Each Stroud pound is backed by one British pound sterling.
  • However, converting Stroud pounds back into British pound sterling incurs a redemption fee.

Understanding the Stroud Pound

The Stroud pound has been compared to the chiemgauer, a community currency used in Germany's Bavaria region. The Stroud is administered by the Stroud Pound Co-operative, a non-profit run by volunteers.

The Stroud pound is a private currency, which is a currency 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, as commodities often move in line with inflation. The Stroud pound is issued on a one-for-one basis with British pound sterling (GBP).

The Stroud pound is not intended to replace the United Kingdom's official currency. Rather, it is designed to be a complementary currency, and not alternative currency altogether. It is issued in four denominations: £1; £2; £5; and £10. The physical designs of the notes emphasize local imagery to foster greater consumer identification with the currency.

To increase the velocity of currency's circulation, the Stroud pound system incorporates a number of features, such as losing 3% of its value every six months. In addition, a 3% redemption fee is charged when converting Stroud pounds back into the national currency. As of 2017, however, the Stroud pound appeared to no longer be trading.

The Stroud Pound as an Example of Fiscal Localism and Bioregionalism

Broadly, 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 and keeping wealth inside of the community. By using a local currency such as the Stroud pound, a community may be able to better gauge its true economic performance.

In addition the Stroud pound can be 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 in action 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.

Article Sources
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  1. Molly Scott Cato, Marta Suárez. "Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy," Pages 1, 4-5. International Journal of Community Currency Research, 2012.

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