Jerome Starkey reported earlier this year that Lake District artists, poets, painters and authors have been chosen as the faces of a new local currency.
The Lakes Currency Project, an independent, private company run by Ken Royall, who lives near Windermere, will launch a paper currency with themed notes reflecting the culture, landscape and people of the area. The Lake District National Park Authority has invested £30,000 in the project.
Ewan Murdock, owner of Just Good Food, in Windermere, said: “It’s very important to us that we buy local ingredients and work with suppliers from the area as much as we can. That’s why I love the idea of the Lake District Pound because it’s all about keeping money in the local economy.”
- The poet Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy will appear on the LD£20 note.
- The children’s author Beatrix Potter, who is best known for her Peter Rabbit books, holidayed in the Lake District as a child in the 1870s and 1880s and used the proceeds from her books to buy farms there. When she died in 1943 she bequeathed 15 farms and over 4,000 acres to the National Trust. She will appear on the LD£1 note.
- Alfred Wainwright, the author of the region’s most popular walking guides, first visited the Lake District in 1930 and wrote a series of pictorial guides to the fells, starting in 1955, which have since developed a dedicated following of hikers. There are 214 peaks, or fells, known as “Wainwrights”.
The Lake District Pound can be used interchangeably with and alongside sterling, it can be spent only in 170 locally owned, independent businesses and tourist attractions around the Lake District National Park, sporting a sign saying “LD£ accepted here”. Those businesses can then get the £1, £5, £10 and £20 notes converted back into sterling at a number of exchange points across the region, including at most post offices. They can swap the notes back before the end of their holiday or send them back to the Lakes Currency Project, which will redeem them electronically.
It will be reissued with new designs each year.
18 million people visited the Lake District in 2017 and if every one of the took just one Lake District Pound home with them as a memento of their visit that would generate a vast sum to be split between the two charities.
Ken Royall, founder and director of the Lakes Currency Project, said any profits from the scheme would be donated to two local charities, the Lake District Foundation and the Cumbria Community Foundation, projects that look after our landscapes and local communities.
Mr Royall made the currency’s first official purchase by buying a steamer ticket across Ullswater from Glenridding. buy a ticket to sail across Ullswater, in the Eastern Lake District, travelling from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge. A spokesman said 415,000 notes had been printed at an undisclosed location in England, with a total value of £2.2 million. All of the notes include a range of security features such as ultraviolet ink, silver foil and thermochromatic ink.
Businesses which take part will be able to bank the new currency at post offices which will credit their accounts with regular sterling.
The community initiative was launched in May and aims to help locals and visitors enjoy Cumbrian culture, support local businesses and help look after the area’s landscapes and communities.
Lake District Pounds can now be spent at around 350 local businesses and the scheme has expanded to incorporate a growing number of towns and villages in the county. has since expanded to include businesses like Muncaster Castle and the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in West Cumbria and over 40 businesses in Kendal.
More than £90,000-worth of Lake District Pounds are now in circulation.