Tag Archives: paper B£s

Welcome to the Brixton Pound Cafe ☕️

The first pay-what-you-feel cafe in Brixton! 

Brixton Pound is excited to announce its newest project: the Brixton Pound cafe! Opening in July 2016 at 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU, it is the first cafe in Brixton where all food and drink will operate on a pay-what-you-feel basis.

This idea (used by many projects, from cafes like ours or The Real Junk Food Project‘s all the way to commercial giants like Radiohead) fits perfectly into Brixton Pound’s ethos and its practice of questioning the traditional money systems and showcasing that viable alternatives exist. A more social economy is possible!

Additionally, we will be sourcing our food from local surplus – perfectly edible food that would otherwise be wasted – and turn it into delicious and healthy meals. We have partnered up with the People’s Fridge, a project run by residents and local food activists from Open Project Night, and with them will lead on food waste and food poverty reduction in the area. We will be collecting surplus from local traders, such as greengrocers Nour Cash & Carry and Faiz Fine Foods who have already pledged their unsold edible produce. If you’re a local business owner and would like to take part in the scheme, please email us at info (at) brixtonpound (dot) org or come by the cafe for a chat.

As part of the Brixton Pound Community Interest Company, the cafe will be a not-for-profit, and all revenue will support our local grants scheme Brixton Fund.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you at 77 Atlantic Road – come along to say hello, have a drink and a bite to eat, use the free wifi, or just hang out in a friendly space.

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Brixton Pound HQ

In the cafe, you can exchange your sterling cash for Brixton Pounds, set up a B£ pay-by-text account, play the Brixton Bonus, buy B£ merchandise (every sale supports the Brixton Fund!) and find out more about B£, its local projects, and Brixton itself.

Community space

Our new space at 77 Atlantic Road allows us to continue the mission of the B£ Shop (which we ran out of one of the Brixton Arches earlier this year) – giving the community an outlet for activity at the very heart of Brixton.

Aside from the cafe space, we’ve got a beautiful and spacious basement downstairs which can be used for meetings, events, workshops, pop-ups, performances, yoga, dance, rehearsals, you name it!

In our previous space we’ve welcomed regular free art classes, young parent groups, gigs, book launches, campaign meetings, social research launch parties, poetry and spoken word nights, youth education sessions – and much more – into the space.

The space is available to rent on a sliding scale, with the option of using it for free. The whole idea of the community space concept is to open up space that’s normally off-limits to community groups to help them do what they want to do.

“Thanks for the opportunity to use the space as it has definitely allowed me to raise my profile and confidence. Other places have requested my workshops for future projects” – Kes, Heart in Art mosaic workshops

“The Brixton Pound shop has been a game-changer for us…Our participants, all of whom are young people from the borough, love learning and planning there. B£ has given us a home in the centre of our town, where we before we had to look outside of our community.” – Amelia, Advocacy Academy

Host or suggest an event or activity

We’re only a small team – so we need your ideas and energy! If you’d like to host an event, or have an idea for something that could happen in the space, come in for a chat or email us at info (at) brixtonpound (dot) org

Opening hours:

Mon – Fri 8am – 7pm

Sat 10am – 6pm

The first local currency cash machine opens in Brixton today

Today we are unveiling the world’s first local currency cash machine! Designed and produced by Kind Studio, it is situated in Market Row and available in the market’s operating hours: 8am – 11:30pm Tuesday to Sunday, and 8am – 6pm on Mondays. Which means you can get your hands on paper B£s at almost any time of the day!

001 The cash machine will aid Brixton Pound in furthering its mission to showcase what a social economy might look like in Brixton, and will give local residents an increased opportunity to spend paper B£s to support these values and imagine a better world. It will also help us achieve our vision – that a different high street is possible.

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The cash machine is funded by The Mayor’s High Street Fund, and forms part of a wide range of initiatives in Brixton supporting businesses in the town centre. The High Street Fund is helping Brixton and its existing and emerging traders, hand in hand with the innovative Brixton Pound project.

B£’s Tom Shakhli said:

“Our cash machine is the latest in our challenge to the conventional view that we’re moving towards a cashless society, and gives locals and visitors to Brixton an opportunity to experiment with money that celebrates community and creates conversations rather than closes them off.”

If you check it out, let us know what you think! #brixtoncashpoint

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Brixton public art: Lucy Casson ‘Foxes and Cherries’

‘Foxes and Cherries’ by Lucy Casson  is a sculpture over Electric Avenue, Brixton. It is featured on the B£20 note. This is a guest blog post written by Lucy about what inspired her to make the piece of public art.

foxcherryaziz   B£20 square
Foxes and Cherries on Electric Avenue and as featured on the B£20 

Halfway along Electric Avenue ‘Foxes and Cherries’  is situated high up on a roof. I wanted to make something inspired by the fruit market – cherries are such wonderful fruit, and that year the cherry tree in my garden in Brixton had a bumper crop of cherries, so it had to be cherries; and for me the foxes that live among us represented the cheeky side of Brixton as they dive in and out of sight.

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‘Foxes and Cherries’ in the making

As well as making art works for public places I create smaller works for gallery exhibition.
I have created a world of ‘beings.’ They are cartoon like, part animal, part human. These characters become part of narratives and scenarios gleaned from observations of everyday accuracies, surreal encounters or imagined stories.

Tin Plate Beings
cherries 2  small1  small2
Cherries                                           Fire                                                The Inspectors

animal looking  red ball and spoon
 Animal Looking                                                         Red Ball and Spoon

For the past two and a half years I have been the lead artist for the newly opened New Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, creating a number of large sculptures, graphics, curtain/glass design, etc. I am currently working on a small sculpture for Brockwell Park.

Works from the New Alder Hey children’s hospital
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  alderyheybirds  bird 100 closeBronze Fox                                     Roost – A Hundred Birds              Bird Close Up

Head over to Lucy’s website for of her work: www.lucycasson.co.uk. To discover other public art featured on B£ notes, click here

Join us for a celebration – this Wednesday!

Come and help us celebrate the launch of B£’s special limited edition B£5 note created for Brixton by a very special Turner Prize winning artist. The note will be nothing short of a work of art and is guaranteed to blow your minds!

Wednesday 8th July Windrush Square 6-10pm

Bring your friends and family and join us in a huge evening picnic on Windrush Square and be the first to see the most magical money – probably in the world!

We will also be hosting a Give & Take market, so come and swap your unwanted items with us.  In the spirit of free exchange, we’re encouraging Brixtonites to donate items they don’t want or need anymore, and creating an opportunity for others to take them – for free! Clothes, books, toys, household items, decorations, all kinds of miscellanea.

Norwood and Brixton Foodbank and Brixton Soup Kitchen will also be collecting tinned and dried food, so bring that as donations too! Here’s a handy shopping list for what items you can donate.

We’ll be collecting from early morning (7:30am) on the day, so you can just drop them off with us on Windrush Square on your way to work – there will be a visible B£ stall. And then in the evening, come see if you can find any treasures others have donated!


It will be a big celebration, and also a chance to:

  •  Be the first to get your hands on the special new B£5 note! It will be so worth it.
  •  Get rid of your surplus stuff! Have something gathering dust at home, or don’t use an item anymore? Pass it on!
  • Get free stuff! One person’s unused item is another’s treasure – and all donated items will be available at the market FOR FREE.
  • And of course, have some fun!

This is a free event – make a picnic, pick up a take away, bring your loved ones and indulge in a bit of midweek celebration – it could only happen here!

The fun begins at 6pm – see you next week on Windrush Square, Brixton!

Tell us if you’re coming on Facebook or Eventbrite!

B£5-PARTY POSTER

2015: The Year of the Bonus!

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Well, good January to you all. After a few sodden cycles to Brixton Pound Towers last week that is said through gritted teeth – but no less heartfelt for it!

So, 2015: what’s it all going to be about?

There’s a couple of sporting world cups (cricket and rugby if you’re asking), a UK general election, it’s the International Year of Light (and Light-Based Technologies) and the International Year of Soils (if you’re in the business of illuminating compost it’s going to be a scorcher) – but from where we’re sitting there’s only one ‘year of’ you need to worry about/anticipate wildly: The Year of the Bonus!

What and why then? We haven’t chosen this word lightly, we really are planning to pack the year with Bonuses for Brixton. Let me explain why.

Bonus Fund Cycle diagam

To kick off, let’s introduce the Brixton Bonus itself: a local, monthly, prize draw – with a top prize of   B£1000 up for grabs (alongside some more for the runners up). The chance to win is yours for a paltry £1 (or B£1), and because it’s a local gig you’re several thousands of times more likely to win than on, say, the National Lottery.

So far it looks like the Bonus is a winner-takes-all situation. Not so, indeed far from it.

The whole idea is that the Brixton Bonus is, genuinely, a bonus for Brixton. After the winner has been awarded their handsome winnings (which in turn will, of course, become a bonus for the Brixton businesses in which they’re spent…), the remaining funds will be split between the Brixton Fund – a local micro-grants scheme – and the Brixton Pound, enabling us to continue our work supporting Brixton’s businesses and local economy.

The Brixton Fund will financially support projects which meet its priorities for increasing local employment opportunities, taking action for social justice, or simply activities beneficial to the local community. We’re not being any less vague than this right now for a reason: we want the community to decide what’s most important. Watch this space.

So, you see: win or lose it’s a Bonus all round.

If you’d like to play, find out more about the Brixton Bonus & Fund, ask us a question or simply be kept in the loop in advance of the launch you can quickly register your interest here.

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But the bonuses keep on flowing, we’ve also got cooking for 2015:

  • Contactless payment: ever pushing the boundaries of the local currency world, contactless payment is on its way, making it embarrassingly easy to spend those B£s mid-21st-century-style
  • Android B£ app: following hot on the heels of our iPhone App launched last summer, the Android version will be launching this year – so you’ll be able to pay in a flash, top-up on the go and search out Brixton business gems from your pocket without selling out to Apple (just Google instead…)
  • A new B£5 note: to celebrate 5 years of the Brixton Pound, 2nd edition note designers-extraordinaire This Ain’t Rock ’n’ Roll will be producing a special new B£5 note – we can’t tell you anything more now, but trust us, it’s gonna be good!
  • A B£ cashpoint: sorely missing, I think we can all agree, from Brixton’s town centre for too long now – a cashpoint dedicated to spitting out local money into your eager palms could be on its way. We’ll be waiting to hear if a funding bid has been successful sometime in February. Fingers and toes crossed please…

Not bad eh? We hope we’ve done enough to convince you that if you’re into Brixton and its trusty currency, this year could be one to remember.

Cheers to that.