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July 8, 2013

Could Sift be the best place to work in Bristol…?

Written by Carolyn Hair, author of 

Sift employees with their £B10 printed pounds!

…well I can’t say for sure (and have no scientific evidence to back this up) but I think it must be in the running after its CEO, Ben Heald, rewarded his employees in a particularly Bristol fashion.

After a quarter of beating budgets, Ben wanted to give a little something back to his employees. But coming from an innovative, creative Bristol business, he felt it needed a twist. So, all 130 of the Sift team were rewarded with a beautiful, crisp Bristol Pound tenner. You couldn’t get a much more Bristolian gesture, with those iconic coloured houses on one side of the paper 10 pound, and philanthropist and playwright, Hannah Moore, and the Bristol Old Vic on the other. I asked Ben why he’d chosen this quirky thank-you:

“There were two drivers – to do something memorable and thoughtful – and also to help promote Bristol Pound. There’s no better way than giving 130 people the real thing!”

The Sift team were surprised and intrigued, and for many it was a walk into virginal Bristol Pound territory. Andy Price said, “I liked them, and it gave me an excuse to use places that I may not otherwise have bothered to seek out or go to.” He headed to The Fish Shop on Gloucester Road and one of the greengrocers: “I made ling chowder and octopus salad. It was ridiculous.” Ask us round next time Andy please…

Culinary delights were on the agenda for Jon Kennard too, who spent his tenner at the Arnolfini bar and, the Big Banana Juice Bar and Royce Rolls in St Nicks. He said, “I love them – been a long time since I’ve seen a one pound note! I’ll use them when I can, mostly for lunch and the like.”

£B10 Printed Bristol Pound with Hannah Moore (anti-slavery campaigner) in front of Bristol Old Vic (the oldest working theatre in UK)

When I asked Ben what the local currency meant to him as a Bristol business-owner he said, “it’s great publicity for the city, plays to the localism agenda that is so important and also fun.” He continued:

“I carry Bristol Pounds with me all the time and always try it first locally before reverting to Sterling.  I have to say as yet it is only a minority of shops that take it, but I figure that every time I proffer Bristol Pounds I’m doing my bit to promote the currency. I have also been known to walk out of some places if I think they should take Bristol Pound, and I’m also boycotting one Welsh Back favourite lunch spot until they start accepting it!”

Well I’d just like to say to the mentioned restaurant on Welsh Back (you know who you are), please get in touch with us. It looks as if you’re missing out on a potential £B lunchtime rush…

Bristol – we challenge you!

We know times are tough, but if you can why not reward your hard-working staff Sift Digital style? It’s good for team morale, the local economy, and you’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling from knowing you’re helping to make Bristol better. Or why not offer a friend the present of £B10?

How would you spend a Bristol Pound tenner? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. […] Read more on Bristol Pound’s blog… […]

  2. […] also uses Bristol Pounds on staff drinks and bonuses (just like Sift Digital), as well as at St Nicks and to pay his business […]