NOTE This is a used note. Please ask for special scan if this is a concern
The Stroud Pound was launched outside Stroud Valleys Project in Threadneedle Street, opposite the town's Old Lady (Teashop) to a small fanfare on 12 September 2009. At 10am on launch day, a short presentation by Dr Peter North of Liverpool University, an international expert on local currencies, introduced his specialist subject. Then Molly Scott Cato, one of the organisers of Stroud Pound Co-operative, introduced the new notes. Stroud pounds were available for sale, and a hundred of them were given away to random shoppers.
In the Co-op news, Molly Scott Cato said Stroud was well placed to succeed: "The aim of the currency is to keep economic value within the local economy, but the link to the local identity is also important. There is a big farmers' market in Stroud, and we hope there will be a synergy between consumers and producers."
By 2010, fewer than 200 members were using it, and fewer than fifty businesses accepted it. At its peak, less than £10,000 GBP had been exchanged for currency. In 2011 estimates stated that less than £4,000 was still in circulation. On this scale, the scheme could not succeed, and that same year it collapsed. Three further factors contributed to the failure of the scheme: a limited lifespan of two years, demurrage of 3% every six months, and a malus of 5% for exchanging back to pounds Sterling. Furthermore, participants had to pay £5 to join the system.
Stonehouse and Stroud are frequently considered together, partly because the town of Stonehouse is a mere three miles from Stroud, and partly because the designs of the two sets of notes are almost identical. In currency terms, though, they are separate entities. Having launched the Stroud Pound in 2009, the Stroud Pound Co-op decided to launch a second currency in the neighbouring town a year later. The new Stonehouse Pound was launched at the Stonehouse Goodwill Evening on 27 November 2010. Larger companies in the town were urged to give out Stonehouse Pounds to their staff encouraging and rewarding them for 100 per cent attendance, meeting targets and making good suggestions, and it was suggested that smaller companies could offer it as a customer reward.