A new Colne currency created to keep shoppers in the town should be available to purchase in the next couple of months.
Organisers of the “Colne Quid” Aneesa Neelam, Zoe Dickinson and John Luffrum were due to send off an application to become a community interest company this week.
The trio are hopeful that they will be granted the status by Companies House in time for Christmas, so residents are more inclined to stay local to do their festive shopping.
The Colne Quid has been inspired by similar initiatives around the country - including in Totnes and Bristol - to “stop any money from leaking out of the local area”. Already, 15 businesses are signed up, and it is hoped others will soon become involved. The first “Colne Quid”, which features a picture of Colne entrepreneur Sir William Pickles Hartley, has now been printed.
Aneesa said: “John [from Outline Print Service Ltd] has wanted to do this for years... and he spoke to myself and Zoe to help him implement it all.
“The initiative raises awareness and educates about money leaking out of the local area, as some people don’t realise how much of an impact it has buying your fruit and veg from a local shop, instead of going to Asda.
“There is no cost to businesses wanting to sign up, and when they do they will get a page on our website, which will list all of their special offers. In the first six months there will be a special offer, where you can purchase a Colne Quid for 90p.
“From a customer point of view, it can be used as a voucher, and could make a birthday or Christmas present.
“It is all about bringing together community spirit, and you will know that you have potentially helped feed a family for the night instead of going to a big supermarket giant.
“Colne is such an up-and-coming place and this was the natural next progression for the town.”
It is hoped that eventually the “Colne Quid” can be turned into a “Pendle Pound”, to involve other towns in the local area.
Aneesa added: “This is just the beginning - it can only get bigger,”
Any businesses or shoppers wanting more information can visit Maria Birkett, in E-Shoes, which is based at The Arcade, in Market Street.
The Colne Quid, when set up, can be purchased from this information point, and it is also hoped quarterly pop-up events will be held in the town.