Since the 1st of May, the UK celebrates another beautiful addition to its increasingly varied currency landscape: the Lake District Pound. The Lake District is the largest of our country’s striking National Parks. Over 18m people visit the area every year and it has a proudly distinct identity built on its scenery, wildlife, and multitude of outdoor activities. On the day of its launch, BBC asked our director Stephen Clarke to comment on this new initiative. You can listen to the full interview and accompanying story by following this link and scrolling to 38 minutes, 50 seconds.
The Lake District houses … local businesses that are, just like in Bristol, struggling to keep up with the sheer pace and magnitude of global economic forces. Yet it is precisely these independent businesses that contribute to the charm of the Lake District.
The Lake District Pound aims to connect residents, visitors, charities and independent shop owners with each other in a mutually supportive economic network. The currency consists of striking paper pounds with notable people or scenic images of the environment in £1, £5, £10 and £20 denominations. They are true collectibles, as the designs on the money will change yearly.
What is exciting about the Lake District Pound is its geographical size: you can spend your local pounds in local shops throughout the entire Lake District. Moreover, the users of this money are not necessarily residents of the area: what unites everyone using the LD£ is a love for the beauty of the landscape, its history, and the cultural heritage. By using Lake Pounds, you are not only supporting independent businesses: the currency is also used to raise funds for local charities. Visitors that decide to bring some LD£ back home are directly supporting community life in the area.
Sarah, director of the Lake District Foundation, notes in a testimonial: “It’s a great way to show your love for the area and have fun at the same time.”
At the Bristol Pound we happily cheer this great new initiative on. Using a local currency is fun and expresses love for all the characteristics and quirks that make an area so special. Next time you’re up in the Lake District, consider swapping those sterling notes for a stack of LD£.
Visit their website here.