Kingston Pound scheme to offer prizes for students shopping locally

The Kingston Pound will be available to spend locally from 16 March

The Kingston Pound will be available to spend locally from 16 March

Students living in Kingston have a new incentive to move their shopping habits away from the cheap and cheerful and towards the locally beneficial ‘Kingston Pound’ starting this month.

“Prize draws”
The local currency, which aims to encourage diverse and distinct high streets, will help to fund local shops instead of chain supermarkets and will be offering prize draws to participants.

“Students to benefit”
Andrew Connolly, 55, co-founder of the K£, said: “There’s a number of things that students might benefit from. As far as converting K£’s is concerned, there’s possibility of appeal there, but lots of students are skint. It depends if they’ve got the spare money to do it.”

On Tuesday 12 March the Electronic version of the local pound was set up, whilst the print money will be available from Monday 16 March with participating businesses including The Copper Kettle bar on Brighton Road.

“What students think”
Jonathan McMorris, 20, Geology student, was sceptical of the scheme: “That wouldn’t work. I haven’t heard about it, but i probably wouldn’t use it. It doesn’t sound very appealing.”

There is a K£ app which will show residents where they can use their local money.

There is a K£ app which will show residents where they can use their local money.

Not for profit”
The scheme, which runs from March until September, is part of the Local Exchange Trading System which is a not-for-profit organisation and will have minimal interest rates unlike other currency exchange programmes.

So far the K£ has raised £2,805, but the overall aim is to have at least £100,000 converted into Kingston Pounds by 2016, with the local money being available both electronically and in paper copy from participating businesses.

“Where can i get them from?”
You can get Kingston Pounds from the website http://kingstonpound.org/ or by purchasing them with sterling pound, accepting them as payment or as change from a local business member.

The community system, which is popular in Japan, will be holding a sign-up session for people and businesses on Saturday 21 March at Maple Works on Maple Road in Surbiton, with the time to be announced.

Further information is available at https://kingstonpound.wordpress.com/ with detailed aims and objectives of the pilot scheme.

Do we really need a local currency? See what Swaction thinks.


Written by Grace Newton

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