Having watched the Bristol Pound launch in September 2012, and go from strength to strength, I remember thinking ‘Why can’t we do that here in Cardiff?’ Of course, there is no reason at all why we can’t – it just needs somebody (or bodies) with the time, energy and commitment to make it happen. In early 2013, I decided, perhaps foolishly, that this person would be me, and wrote a blog post on the topic to see if there were other people out there who thought the Cardiff Pound would be a good idea.
I was surprised by the positivity of the response, and this encouraged me to spend some time looking into what would be needed to launch a local currency. I visited the Bristol Pound team, who kindly spent an afternoon with me talking through their journey; and I also spoke with Cardiff and Vale Credit Union about the logistics of running Cardiff Pound Accounts. Cardiff Council also took an interest in the concept of a local currency for Cardiff, with recommendations being made in two separate Scrutiny Reports to consider further development of the Cardiff Pound.
Unfortunately the combined demands of a job, a business and three children meant that I didn’t have enough time to give the Cardiff Pound project the attention it deserved, so early in 2014 I decided to start sounding out other people who could potentially take the project forward. Around the same time, I applied for a development programme with my employer, Cadwyn Housing Association, which included the opportunity to work on a project of my choosing. Though the Cardiff Pound project did not quite fit the criteria for the course, I was given the go ahead to work on it one day a week as part of the development programme! Since then work has begun in earnest; progress on such a huge project is inevitably slower than I would like – but that will change soon with the great news that Indycube CIC will also be supporting the Cardiff Pound for a further day a week over the next six months – a great opportunity to turn the project into a reality!