Posted by: Mike Grenville | 10 December 2009

Free Guide to Setting Up Local Currencies

lewes pound guide cover

Transition Network is delighted to be able to present the first in an occasional series of pdf only ‘How to’ guides: THE LEWES POUND A Transition Network ‘How To’ Guide.

Written by Oliver Oliver Dudok van Heel, one of the the Lewes Pound founders, the guide aims to give an indication of how to set up a local currency scheme, based on how Lewes went about developing and running the Lewes Pound.

Launched in September 2008 with a 1-Pound Lewes Pound note, over 30,000 Lewes Pounds were issued until it was replaced in August 2009 by 1, 5, 10 and 21 (twenty-one) Pound notes in July 2009.

The model used in Lewes is very similar to the models used in Totnes and Brixton, and is based on the Berkshares scheme in Massachusetts.

The guide looks at the benefits for the community and the essential on how it works. A key factor in the success of a local currency is if it is accepted and used by a sufficient proportion of the community – traders, residents and Local Authorities. It also covers the costs of running a local currency scheme as well as the possible funding sources such as Sponsorship by Local Business and the sale of Collector’s Packs.

The guide admits that the Lewes Pound is only used by a minority of dedicated Lewesians, and does not have a huge direct economic impact. However, what has been achieved far exceeded their expectations. What it has done is raise awareness about the importance of local trading within the community and helped spread some of the core messages of Transition Towns, particularly around the need to localise the economy to build resilience.

The guide is taster for Pete North’s ‘Local Money’, (the second in the ‘Transition Books’ series, after ‘Local Food’) due out in March.

To help cover the Transition Network costs of its production, we’d really appreciate donations along the lines of what you think it is worth to you and how helpful you found it.

Please make donations via this PayPal donation link.

You can download the guide here:
THE LEWES POUND A Transition Network ‘How To’ Guide



  1. Thanks to Variable Data photocopy technology, we are able to offer a local currency with each bill printed with photos, maps and art advertising individual sponsors. The local businesses & professionals commit to “backing” the currency & accepting it for a proportion of their goods & services- so they become part of the team through advertising on the bills in everyone’s pocket. Due for launch in April, 2010. Similar to Detroit Cheers, but funded by local business donations to Transition Town non-profit charitable organization.

  2. I am a director and part-owner of an Australian company. We provide hi-tech smart card solutions in tourism and hospitality markets, and own over a thousand multifunction terminals with our clients to handle our card transactions. We see potential to add ‘local e-money’ to ‘local cash money’ to add efficiency and speed, to lower transaction costs, and to raise confidence and perceived value to all participants. If you are interested in a conversation, let me know as I am now based in London. Kind regards, Andrew Fox

  3. To Andrew Fox,

    Have you ever looked into providing infrastructure
    for support of local credit clearing operations?
    Do you have any information on how groups of
    businesses involved in credit clearing can contact
    your company or other companies providing this


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