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Totnes Pound


The Totnes Pound is an alternative local currency intended to support the local economy of Totnes, a town in Devon, England.


The first Totnes Pound note was produced in 2007. There were two subsequent t£1 notes, and in 2015 the fourth version of the currency was produced in four denominations: t£1, t£5, t£10 and t£21 notes. In 2015 an electronic version of the currency was also introduced to run alongside the paper currency. As at late 2015 there are approximately t£12,000 in circulation and t£4,000 held in individuals’ and businesses’ electronic Totnes Pound accounts. The software for the electronic currency is operated by the Bristol Pound. Transactions can be made using a mobile phone, either by sending a text message or by using a dedicated app. 


The Totnes Pound is based on the idea that an average local economy is like a leaky bucket - money comes in and as soon as it is spent at a shop or business that has more connections outside the local community than inside, that money disappears. That's the nature of the euro, dollars and sterling.


However, local money doesn’t leak through the holes – it bounces around inside the local economy and maintains wealth. Local money helps people think about their local economy, enquire where money goes once it is spent and find ways to keep it from leaking out. If money is used for production and consumption closer to home, people will pay more attention to how those products are made, and the waste streams that result from them.


How does it work?

  • You buy Totnes Pounds through one of the four Issuing Points in Totnes at £1 = t£1
  • You can spend it at any of the 150+ shops or businesses in Totnes that display the “Totnes Pounds Accepted Here” logo
  • You can get: food, taxi rides, clothing, household goods, bike repairs, haberdashery, shoes, artists materials, books...


The benefits of the Totnes Pound are:

  • It builds resilience in the local economy by keeping money circulating in the community and by building new relationships.
  • It brings consciousness of money. It makes people think and talk about how they spend their money.
  • It encourages more local trade and thus reduces food and trade miles.


The Totnes Pound is backed by sterling held in a bank account. The currency is administered through the Totnes Pound CIC (Community Interest Company). 


Last update: October 2015



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Type of initiative Other (specify): Community currency
Field of work Financial services
Date of commencement 2007
Founder(s) Ben Brangwyn, Mark Burton, Noel Longhurst and Nigel Topping
Legal form Unincorporated Association
Continent Europe
Country England
City Totnes
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Community currency, complementary currency, local economy, local money
Publications Blog
More information Facebook, Twitter

Contact person(s)

John Elford


Contact information

Name Totnes Pound
Address c/o Thimble Cottage, The Lamb
Zip/postal code TQ9 5SE
Place Totnes
State/province Devon
Country England



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