The Exeter Chiefs have given their backing to a new local currency due to launch in the city this September.
One of the largest independent businesses in Exeter, the Premiership rugby club has committed to become part of Exeter Pound.
Not only will an image from Sandy Park feature on a special £E15 note issued to mark the Rugby World Cup arriving in the city, but the Chiefs have also pledged accept the Exeter Pounds and will look to spend them with their suppliers.
The currency will be launched in September before the tournament comes to the city in a bid to encourage people to support local independent businesses.
Chief executive Tony Rowe said: “I am very happy for Exeter Chiefs to work in partnership with Exeter Pound.
“We are an independent local business and, although one of the largest in Exeter, share their commitment to Exeter and keeping as much business as local as possible.
“I look forward to seeing an image from Sandy Park on one side of the £E15 RWC2015 note.”
Those behind the project have welcomed the support of the Chiefs at this early stage of development. Early commitments from people offering services from their own homes with a turnover of only a few hundred pounds a year are now joined by a business that last year turned over £12 million.
Daniel Hillier, local business owner and director of Exeter Pound, said: “The whole of the Exeter business community will take note of Exeter Chiefs’ support for the local currency.
“We welcome interest from all local independent businesses in the city, from large to very small and everything in between.”
Exeter Pound has invited local independent businesses to join them and other partners in a stakeholder meeting at Exeter City Council’s offices from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Monday, February 23.
Gill Westcott, chair of the board of directors, said: “We want to hear from our stakeholders about how the scheme can be designed to best meet their needs, so as much money as possible circulates in the independent Exeter business community.”
The design competition for £E1, £E5, £E10 and £E20 notes closes in three weeks. People who live, work or study in Exeter are still invited to send in designs to be incorporated into the notes.
Pieces of art are welcomed from young and old, amateur and professional artists, designers, photographers and in any other art form that can submitted as a two dimensional image. Eight images are needed.
The competition judges, who all live or work in Exeter, are city council leader Councillor Pete Edwards, Dame Suzi Leather, most recently chair of Plymouth Fairness Commission, Dr Sarah Bennett, associate professor in fine art at Plymouth University, Si Paull, from local design company Sound in Theory, and Jon-Paul Hedge, editor of the Express & Echo.
For further comment please contact Ian Martin 07980 301058