2015 saw steady circulation of the notes in the local economy and a continuing high level of support for the concept of a local currency. It was also an important year for the Lewes Pound with exciting developments as we kicked off a feasibility study into how an Electronic Pound can strengthen support of independent businesses, communities in Lewes and Lewes District, in addition to the paper Lewes Pounds.
We are grateful to the South Downs National Park and the Community Economic Development program ran by Department for Local Communities and Government (DLCG) for funding the study.
It allowed us to appoint Ferrie van Echtelt, a Lewes based entrepreneur with expertise in research and innovation.
He has conducted a range of surveys and interviews among 110 residents/businesses and visitors and captured their views about the Lewes Pound and expectations for a potential electronic scheme. We have been using all types of feedback—positive, conditionally positive, sceptical, or negative—to create a practical, useful and beneficial electronic scheme that has a wider appeal and positive impact.
Ferrie also looked at other electronic complementary currency initiatives and their type of impact in Bristol and Brixton, for example, and worked closely together with our great community organisations such as the East Sussex Credit Union and the Lewes FC.