Printer rolling in bank notes
A TOTNES company is back in the 'funny' money business — but this time it is getting paid with the real stuff.
Print firm Colourworks has just been given a £1,000 contract to run off 10,000 Lewes Pounds, an alternative currency which is about to be launched by the East Sussex community's Transition Town movement.
The last time Colourworks bosses Paul and Jan Hall took on an alternative currency contract it was for Rob Hopkins and his Transition Town Totnes group to produce 10,000 Totnes Pounds.
And instead of being paid in Sterling, the couple ended up being handed back 1,000 of the Totnes Pound notes they had just run off.
Come and have a look at the extensive range of tiles we have in stock at our Drake Mill, Estover showroom. Most items in stock to take away or delivery option available.
Terms: Showromm open Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm and Friday 9am - 3pm.
Contact: 01752 421047
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
That was almost a year ago and the couple and their employees have already put virtually all 1,000 of the Totnes Pounds back in circulation in Totnes, by purchasing various goods from the dozens of town centre shops which accept the alternative currency.
"Quite a few went on the takeaway bacon bar opposite us," said Paul who welcomes the alternative currency concept as a 'way of keeping the local economy going'.
The Lewes currency will actually be paid for in real Bank of England notes, explained Paul.
"We won't be paid in Lewes Pounds because we are so far away from Lewes," he said.
The East Sussex market town is the latest community to embrace the Transition Town movement — the organisation dedicated to looking at ways local communities will be able to cope with the demise of oil and cheap energy.
Totnes was the first Transition Town in the country and the first to launch its own currency.
Since then towns across the country and abroad have followed suit.
Lewes will be launching its new money on September 9 and some 30 local shops in the town have already signed up to accept it — including the town's local Barclays Bank.
In Totnes, dozens of shops and businesses now accept their alternative currency — from pet shops to veggie stores.
Lewes decided to ask Colourworks to produce their pound notes after making contact with Rob Hopkins, the Totnes man behind the Transition movement.
The Lewes bank notes will be run off on the printing company's five-colour Heidelberg SM 74 printing machine using special paper which is used in the printing of national bank notes.
They will also carry security features such as watermarks, heat-marks and numbering.
Paul said: "They wanted the paper because the bank notes need to have longevity so they don't fall to pieces in people's pockets."
He said the company had used a plasticised paper for the Totnes pounds but that Lewes wanted something would feel just like a real bank note.