"When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come?" once asked The Clash. For modern residents of Brixton, it'd likely be armed with a fistfull of Brixton Pound notes. Not only is the South London district getting its own local currency, it's also getting the world's first local currency cash machine.
Situated on Market Row and dispensing notes as of today, the machine spits out currency with local heroes printed on it, including David Bowie and Luol Deng. The currency is the only one of its kind in London, and can only be used in shops in Brixton. The aim is to foster a sense of community with local shop keepers, encouraging local residents to spend locally to boost neighbouring business prospects.
The Brixton Pound is accepted in 300 local shops, with the notes themselves designed by local arty types, including Jeremy Deller, the 2004 Turner Prize winner.
"Our cash machine is the latest in our challenge to the conventional view that we’re moving towards a cashless society," said Brixton Pound’s Managing Director Tom Shakhli. "[It] gives locals and visitors to Brixton an opportunity to experiment with money that celebrates community and creates conversations rather than closes them off.”
Check out some of the Brixton Pound note designs below. [Standard]