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Five reasons we should celebrate the Brixton Pound

Written by
Lucy McGuire

The Brixton Pound has been the wad of choice for true Brixtonites since 2009. There’s around B£50,000 in circulation – in paper and electronic form – and you can buy them online or get them from various shops displaying the Brixton Pound sign. But what’s in this local currency for you? Here are five reasons we should celebrate these colourful notes: 

Brixton Village

Lucy McGuire

 They put Brixton on the map

If you overheard someone on the Victoria line say 'I’m heading to Bricky to spend my bills on some CHICKENliquor' you’d probably want to follow – especially if they were clutching a bundle of Brixton Pounds. The beautiful thing about a local currency is that it's niche. It brings people away from the tourist traps and into thriving local communities.

The Brixton five pound note

The anniversary Brixton five pound noteLucy McGuire

They highlight Brixton’s heritage

The paper B£ notes commemorate historic local heroes, from political activist Olive Morris to David Bowie. Landmarks like the Nuclear Dawn mural and the Foxes and Cherries sculptures are also represented. Even artist Jeremy Deller has been involved, designing the psychedelic anniversary five pound note.

The Brixton Sour

The Brixton Sour cocktail - devoted to the Brixton PoundLucy McGuire

 They’re cool

We love Queen Lizzy but it’s far cooler to pay for your dinner with a Bowie. Find T-shirts, mugs and even a cocktail devoted to the B£ (complete with a 'free' B£1 note decoration). Some of the first edition notes glow under UV light and soon, there’ll be Brixton Pound cash machines.

Phoenix Cafe, Brixton

The Phoenix Cafe on Coldharbour Lane - a longstanding Brixton institutionLucy McGuire

 They keep Brixton unique

While many fear London is becoming a city of ‘cloned’ high streets, the Brixton Pound keeps things authentic. It's only used within the neighbourhood for the benefit of long-standing institutions and community hubs.

 They carry a strong social message

In an age of speed-of-light gentrification, the currency is helping local businesses who face the threat of eviction from rising rental prices. A portion of Brixton Pound sales go to The Brixton Fund, which helps families living in poverty. And the group itself supports local petitions and trade associations, giving more power to the people.

For more facts about SW2, breeze through our Brixton area guide.

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