Small market town gets own currency
Traders in a tiny market town have introduced their own version of the Bank of England's quantitative easing money-printing programme to help boost the high street economy.
Up to 30 businesses in the centre of Midhurst in West Sussex have signed up to give away "Midhurst Pounds" throughout December with every purchase customers make.
Consumers will be able to spend their "pounds" in January in part-payment against purchases made in any of the participating shops in the town, which has a population of around 5,000.
Organisers of the scheme, which has also been introduced in other areas including Bristol, Totnes, Brixton and Lewes, hope the local economy will be boosted by keeping money in the town.
John Quilter, chairman of the Midhurst Town Team, said: "We are hoping that 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 of around 5,000 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 Midhurst Town Team, said: "This is just what is needed in a small market town like Midhurst to bring the traders and their customers together in a fun way that rewards everyone."