Cardiff Pound – news at last!

Exciting news!

This time last year I was spending quite a bit of time talking to everyone who would listen about the benefits that a local currency could bring to Cardiff. I firmly believed that a Cardiff Pound would be a real boost for Cardiff’s local economy, and having watched the Bristol Pound go from strength to strength over the last 12 months, I’m now even more convinced  of the case for a local currency.

It was pretty clear that there was a lot of goodwill and support around to set up a local currency, and in a perfect world I would have liked to have been able to capitalise on that to have a Cardiff Pound up and running right now. Indeed I did make some brave predictions about how soon we would have everything ready to launch – however, in my excitement and enthusiasm I rather forgot about the necessity to earn a living in the meantime, ha! Then in September I began a new job and it became clear that with the best will in the world the Cardiff Pound would have to take a back seat until I was settled in.

So take a back seat it did, but for far longer than I had hoped – every time I could see a breather coming up, a new project appeared. Which has been great for my overdraft, but it has also meant that a few weeks ago, I had reluctantly come to the conclusion that if I wanted to see the Cardiff Pound happen, I would have to hand it over to someone who had the time and energy that it deserved. This was a hard decision but at the end of the day I want the Cardiff Pound to happen more than I want to be the person to make it happen, if that makes sense. Though I do quite badly want to be that person as well!

Which is why I am very, VERY excited this afternoon because after having some conversations with the lovely people that run Cadwyn Housing Association (and who, for their sins,  also have the misfortune to employ me part time) I have been given the go-ahead to work on the Cardiff Pound for one day a week from September! My brief will be to put the groundwork in to bring the project to the stage where it is ready to go, and, I hope, to create enough momentum that the Cardiff Pound becomes a reality.

This is brilliant news! I am incredibly grateful to Cadwyn for seeing the potential of a local currency, and also for putting their faith in me to take the project forward to the next stage; and at the risk of doing a Gwyneth, I’m also really grateful to those of you out there who have taken such a patient interest in the Cardiff Pound and have encouraged me to keep chipping away  – you know who you are!

So – next steps…I shall be reviving my Cardiff Pound To Do list which includes talking to the New Economics Foundation; more conversations with the Bristol and Brixton Pounds; putting together a website with information for local people and local businesses; investigating cashless payment systems; keeping you all updated via @cardiffpound; oh, and panicking just a little bit at what suddenly feels like a big, scary and frankly overwhelming task. Bring it on!

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6 thoughts on “Cardiff Pound – news at last!

  1. Ooooh.

    I would love to be able to buy my CDs in Spillers, my books in the Wellfield Rd bookshop and my bike bits in Cyclopaedia with a Cardiff pound. A local currency does just a little more than facilitate the exchange of local money for local goods and services. It also fosters a sense of belonging, a sense of pride and perhaps most importantly, a sense of community; it may even help to underpin the whole city region initiative. Very best of luck with the Cardiff pound (Caerdydd punt?). Now who’s face would we put on it? (My choice would be Roald Dahl – for the fabulous story, I’m sure he’d approve).
    Simon Nurse recently posted…The salmon and the flyMy Profile

    1. Hi Simon, thank you for your comment – you’re absolutely right that one of the most important things about a local currency is that it means people can choose where their money goes after it’s left their hands – right back into their local community. I’m really pleased you’re supportive – keep an eye out for more news!
      LearnerMother recently posted…The TTIP – what you need to knowMy Profile

  2. Just to let you know about two great currencies that already run in Cardiff
    Cardiff Taffs – free to join start in credit and its a currency of exchange
    Time Credits – A currency of recognising volunteer time with reward tokens

    There is also a great scheme in Penarth that could run in Cardiff districts
    in penarth its called SiP Shop in Penarth card, a loyalty discount card that encourages local shopping in small local shops.

    And a great project I run called Cardiff Hops that encourages local people to grow dwarf hops and take them to local micro brewer PIPES for a beautiful unique green hop ale which we get a discount on.

    Many great ways currently running to support local people and local economy.

    Regarding the Cardiff Pound Ashley Govier at the council was interested in this and I thought was looking into this coming to Cardiff so you may find you have more support than you realise. Feel free to send us at Cardiff Transition some info and we will put a call out to all transition members in Cardiff for support.

    1. Hi Sam, thank you for commenting – yep Cllr Govier has been supportive right from the off and has played a big part in pushing this up the agenda at Cardiff, which has been a real help!
      Both the Taffs and the Time Credits are great systems, it’s great to see how people everywhere are looking for more mutually supportive means of trading. I’m aware of the Penarth SiPs card too – and some of us in the Arcades have talked about such a scheme before – the only issue I have with discount schemes is that they effectively devalue what independent shops offer, and can support the mentality ‘I’ll support your shop if you cut me a deal’ – something we hear fairly regularly at Rules of Play. However indie retailers are all cutting it so close to the bone to survive as it is that further discounting is often not a sustainable option.
      I hadn’t heard of the Cardiff Hops though and I’d love to know more – I’d like to try growing some too! Will message you shortly to see if we can catch up for a coffee…
      LearnerMother recently posted…The TTIP – what you need to knowMy Profile

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