UK Local Exchange Trading and Complementary Currencies
Development Agency




March 2011 : "Beyond the Banking Crisis"

Dear Friends

Best wishes to all for a fruitful 2011. The economic crisis continues to inspire us to find ways to help ourselves and others, which was and still is the purpose of local exchange trading. The message is now being echoed in many local initiatives, such as eco-projects and transition towns. Sorry eveybody for the long gap in updating this news page - this was drawn to our attention by one or two recent messages asking if we are still alive and well, and the answer is yes, we were just so busy we forget to update the site!

We have had a very constructive two years working with existing groups who wanted to upgrade from the old-fashioned paper-based system to a fully online system. Dedicated software provides a communication system, as well as taking care care of all the administration involved with running a LETS, including directories, transactions, and much more. Groups using our top-recommended software are linked via the spots on the Local Exchange map.

The most exciting development from one of the groups we helped to relaunch is printed currency. Unlike the local currencies you may have heard about, which have to be bought with pounds, genuine community currencies are generated by local trading, not linked to mainstream banking. Congratulations to Bath LETS, who launched printed olivers on 21st March 2011. More details here.

Now that we have gained confidence with working online, we are now taking this to the next level, by providing our member groups with a central hub. We will then focus on creating new online systems, prioritising those areas most in need. In each area, we will be building county-wide groups and/or regional hubs. New initiatives will therefore be connected into a wider network from the outset.

To support these initiatives, we are developing our regional site, which will provide a private planning space for local organisers to share their knowledge and experience of running LETS:

Meanwhile, our London-wide site is due to be relaunched to provide a direct hub for wider individual trading:

Ongoing news updates are now being transmitted to groups who are in membership of UK, and we now intend to build up this "paid-up" membership base by providing clearly identified services to member groups. For further details see our membership page.

We will also send regular updates via our discussion list: this is open not only to individual members and groups but also to representatives of organisations and individuals who are interested in developing LETS.

If you wish to join a local group, please go to the map page and follow the links. If there is a group near you, please follow their joining procedure, if not fill in the form at the foot of the county page, which will deliver a message to the nearest organisers, and to us. Please be patient - we aim to make LETS universally available during 2011.

To keep us posted with new developments or for press queries, please call our central office on 020 7607 7852 or preferably write to:


Queries? News? Want to join?