Kingston upon Thames is set to receive its own currency, the Kingston Pound.
The council is now encouraging local businesses to pay their business rates using the Kingston Pound, which will be equivalent to one pound sterling. The change is being made in an effort to boost and strengthen the local economy in Kingston.
Kingston councillor David Glasspool said: “The Kingston Pound is an initiative that the Council wholeheartedly supports – helping existing businesses and attracting new ones to the area by strengthening the local economy makes absolute sense.
“There are currently 80 Kingston people and 30 local businesses taking part in the scheme, which shows that the project is already being adopted by our community.”
Statistics show that out of every £1 spent within a community, only around 10p-20p actually stays within the community. The Kingston Pound ensures that 100 per cent of the new currency is reinvested into the local community.
The general consensus is that when you buy something in a shop using the new currency, the shop then uses that same currency to replenish their stock. If local people use the new currency, it will ensure that the money is kept within the community.
Co-founder of Kingston Pound, Peter Scherschel said: “Kingston Pound is ‘Money with Values’ and more than a method of payment because it enables community members to spend and therefore invest locally and have a unique and measurable impact. In this way we can continue to be proud of where we live.”
The community, local businesses and Kingston University created the Kingston Pound, for the community. The founders of the Kingston Pound aim to have 100,000 circulating in the Kingston area by 2016.
One Kingston Pound is worth one-pound sterling. You can purchase Kingston Pounds with sterling online and can accept them as change from participating businesses.
Councillor Glasspool said: “Currently the Kingston Pound is entirely electronic, which means that people can pay either using the app or Text2Pay, a system which allows people to pay by using their mobile phone. Plans are in place to develop a printed note, which is due to be ready next year.”