Following up on our front page story and spotlight on alternative currencies, the Bristol Pound is now full steam ahead and launching on 19 September. Dom Lane reports on the unveiling this week of the new currency’s original designs:
In February this year the people of Bristol were invited to help design paper money for the Bristol Pound (£B). With a call to artists in the South West’s capital, the Bristol Pound launched a competition to find eight designs to be used on each side of a £B1, £B5, £B10 and £B20. Hundreds of entries were received from school children, students, professional designers and amateurs alike.
Following a rigorous day of judging by a panel the winning images have now been selected. Each of the winning designs captures something of Bristol’s character, celebrating the city’s commitment to greener living, its cultural diversity, creative spirit and technological heritage:
· ‘Balloons’ by Jemima Blench, 10, of Westbury Park Primary School and ‘Concord’ by local artist Kim Short, will feature on the £B20.
· ‘Houses’ by Bristol artist Matt Price and ‘Hannah Moore & Bristol Old Vic’ conceived by Anthea Page and designed by Juraj Prodaj, will feature on the £B10.
· ‘St. Paul’s Carnival’ by photographer Mark Simmons and ‘Graffiti tiger’ by Alex Lucas will grace the £B5.
· ‘Bicycle’ by Bristol illustrator Jethro Brice and a design by Phil West will feature on the £B1.
Currently being produced by a specialist printers, the winning designs will circulate the city in tens of thousands of purses and wallets as Bristolian consumers and businesses buy and sell a diverse range of goods and services.
As Ciaran Mundy, Director of the Bristol Pound, explains:
“A local currency for Bristol has been in the pipeline for some time and finalising the paper money designs is one of the final steps. From May this year residents and traders with a BS postcode have been able to apply for an account with Bristol Credit Union. This will allow them to exchange sterling for the same number of Bristol Pounds via conventional bank transfer or salary payments and start spending the newly created paper pounds with hundreds of businesses that benefit by joining the scheme. Shoppers will also be able to use a fast secure mobile phone payment system, a first for a local currency on this scale.”
Organisers believe the scheme will be the largest of its kind in the UK from the moment it launches on Wednesday 19 September 2012.
Mundy said: “As more and more shoppers and businesses spend the Bristol Pound, it will keep more of people’s hard earned wages in our communities to be spent again. People in Bristol who love the range of independent traders will be putting their money where it matters and reduce the need for lorries constantly moving goods up and down the country. The scheme is also a powerful way to promote local businesses trading with each other.”
Anyone interested in local currency, the Bristol Pound and the winning designs can visit www.bristolpound.orgto learn more. For more information, please contact: Ciaran Mundy firstname.lastname@example.org or Dom Lane email@example.com