Midhurst pound gains national press attention

LAST week’s Observer (November 29) revealed Midhurst will have a new local currency to boost the town’s economy.

Since the report, news of the brave venture has gone national, with articles in The Times, on the BBC, and even as far away as the Belfast Telegraph.

Schemes like this have been implemented in Bristol, Totnes, Brixton and Lewes, but Midhurst is the smallest place yet to take on its own currency, which is what has attracted all the attention.

John Quilter, of Midhurst Town Team, said: “Midhurst is different because it is so small with just 5,000 people living here. It is a case of Midhurst and Goliath!”

“Although a Pounds scheme operates in other places it is a huge compliment to the traders of Midhurst that a small town can get this off the ground and it is this that has caused such interest.

“I do hope that the residents of Midhurst and the visitors from further afield use the scheme to save themselves money and find out what a nice town we are lucky to have here at the heart of the South Downs National Park.”

The market town is following the lead of the Bank of England and ‘printing its own money’ in a bid to speed up the town’s economic recovery.

Throughout December, participating businesses will be giving away Midhurst pounds with every purchase.

And it means customers will be able to spend their Midhurst pounds in January in part-payment against items they buy in any participating shops in the town.

John Quilter said so far more than 30 business had signed up, and had already given away plenty of Midhurst pounds.

He continued: “The response from traders is extremely positive, and more and more are joining up by the day.

“We are hoping people from surrounding towns and villages will pop in and have a look and see that we have a lot of nice independent shops.

“We are a small town, but we punch above our weight, and this Midhurst pound scheme is the first of a series of initiatives we have to boost the area.”

David Stanton, vice- chairman of the Midhurst Town Team, called the initiative ‘a form of localised quantitative easing’ and said it would benefit the town by bringing the traders and their customers together in a fun way that rewards everyone.

Visit participating stores to collect your Midhurst pounds, and to find out more.