The Lake District Pound (LD£) is the local currency of the Lake District. It is a paper currency with 4 denominations (LD£1, LD£5, LD£10 & LD£20) all with extensive security features.
LD£’s are exactly equivalent to Sterling £s and are exchanged 1-for-1 with Sterling and can be used totally interchangeably alongside Sterling. The difference is LD£s can only be used in Local Independent Businesses. The objective to increase footfall and spending in these businesses to support the local economy.
LD£s can be exchanged for Sterling at most Post Offices and Tourist Information Centres in the Lake District and can be purchased online at lakedistrictpound.com. A full list of exchange points can be found online and there is no cost for exchanging.
For the visitor to the Lake District, using LD£s means they experience the real communities of the National Park through spending in local independent businesses. To make it fun for visitors to do this, we have introduced a LD£ Passport with a ‘Passport Trail’, where visitors spending LD£ can collect passport stamps from many of the businesses that welcome LD£s. Each business has a window sticker that visitors can look out for (and there is a map of all businesses online on the website). Every stamp collected is a unique record of the visitors experience and there are 35 different stamps to collect, grouped into 7 sets of 5 stamps. Visitors collecting any single set of stamps and posting online automatically wins a Prize. Full details are on their website at: lakedistrictpound.com
For visitors who love the local currency, they offer ‘Gift Sets’ of all 4 denominations, guaranteed mint and uncirculated and all notes with the same unique serial number in a special gift pack. The Gift Sets make ideal and unique presents or mementos of the visit to the Lake District – and are expected to be a valuable collectors item for keepsake.
LD£s are valid for the current year (2019) and any notes kept as mementos or gifts create proceeds from the project that are divided between the Cumbria Community Foundation and the Lake District Foundation, two charities that look after the communities and landscape. So visitors not only get to enjoy using the LD£ but know they are helping to maintain the Lake District for generations to come.
Potential scenarios for operators:
1. Make tours aware of the LD£ as ‘a fun activity and unique way to discover the local communities of the Lake District’.
2. Sell LD£25 packs including a FREE Passport to tour groups. They can provide these LD£25 sets pre-packaged and offer a £10 margin for every 10 packs sold
3. Sell Collector Sets, which retail for £49 (includes LD£36 of notes), and provide a margin of £13 per set sold
4. Sell LD£ Passports for £1 each (operators keep the full amount) and point tour groups to POs and TiCs to obtain their LD£s.
Tour Operators could enhance their offering by having a competition amongst tour groups for collection of the most Passport Stamps. And visitors would still get to win a free prize from their competition online. They are open to other creative ideas for working with the Lake District Pound to offer tour groups a unique experience when visiting the Lake District.
Quotes from businesses welcoming LD£s:
“I have the great privilege of having my portrait on the £10 note!” – Sir Chris Bonington, Adventurer and Mountaineer
“As well as accepting LD£ I’ve also enjoyed spending them. There’s a lovely feeling of community between the businesses in the project.” – Alexandra Boardman, Alexandra’s of Keswick
“We have met some lovely people who have come into the shop to buy gifts with LD£’s and we believe they will come back and back.” – Maggie Lambert, Present Moment, Keswick
“As soon as we heard about the Lake District Pound we wanted to get involved. There is a community feel amongst the businesses in Windermere and we try and promote each other as much as we can.” – Vince, Crafty Baa (Winner, Bar of the year 2019), Windermere
“It has been very exciting to be part of this project, and it is a fantastic way to talk to visitors about all our amazing local businesses.” – Alex Black, Visitor Centre, Keswick