|When the Lewes Pound first launched 9 years ago our aims were to support local traders, keep money circulating within Lewes and help reduce CO2 emissions. We were surprised that there was so much outside interest in our project and amazed to discover that there were collectors far and wide who wanted to acquire our local currency. We put together collectors packs priced at £10.00 and £50.00 (postage extra) and have done a steady trade in them over the years, with the income helping to support our ongoing work supporting Lewes.|
We have also become aware that knowledge of the Lewes Pound is one reason some visitors come to Lewes to experience our ‘quirky’ alternative economic scene. Tourists always like souvenirs and so we have put together a new pack “Celebrating Lewes” set at a pocket-money-affordable price of £3. It contains one of the current issue LP1s, a certificate of authenticity signed by the Mayor of Lewes, a postcard of our notes and a wrapper to hold it all together. We believe that many visitors will want to buy such a souvenir – the TIC has already agreed to stock it- and that local residents may also wish to buy the packs to send to family and friends to remind them of just how special Lewes is.
The international profile of the Lewes Pound is about to be raised further by its presentation at an international currency fair in Amsterdam in early March. The exhibitor involved is taking notes from various local currencies, but we are honoured that they have chosen so many of the Lewes notes because of their outstanding designs. Credit for that definitely goes to one of our directors Chris Smedley who has done an amazing job in incorporating different themes into our overall design right from the start.
Finally we are hoping to put together some new special issues this year so watch this space for notes to celebrate 10 years of TTL and Ovesco, as well as – we hope – a note promoting Lewes Football Club, a cornerstone of our community. And don’t forget the Lewes Pound itself will be 10 years old next year -something else we will be celebrating in due course.