Vol. 25 (Issue 1) pp. 34-51

Integral research on the Lake District Pound: Six mixed methods for assessing the impact of a currency

Christophe Place*, Jem Bendell**, Ian Chapman***, Jamie McPhie**** and David F. Murphy****

*Lancaster University and University of Cumbria, Lancaster, United Kingdom

**University of Cumbria, London, United Kingdom

***University of Cumbria, Lancaster, United Kingdom

****University of Cumbria, Ambleside, United Kingdom


How does one assess the impact of a currency innovation? This study explores the experience of the Lake District Pound (LD£), a free local currency issued by a social enterprise from May 2018 to January 2020, for approximately LD£215’000 within 342 local independent businesses and 28 bureaux de change – who were also stamping passports – and based in the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northwest England. After presenting the historical and regional context, we will introduce six mixed methods – consistent with integrative research approach of Integral Methodological Pluralism based on Complex Integral Realism – and analyse the respective and combined results of 12 data collections over 25 months to provide a holistic impact assessment. By promoting the local heritage and by providing a unique visitor experience, it has had some impact on local spending and the local economy and has raised some awareness of localism and Money; without transforming behaviour and the local supply chain. It has proven its ground-breaking revenue model based on the annual leakage once the currency expires: keeping rather than spending it – targeting visitors rather than residents. Its short-term financial plan proved unsuccessful in generating profit for two charities (environmental conservation, community support).


Integral research, mixed methods, impact assessment, currency innovation, Lake District Pound, National Park, World Heritage Site

Article Place et al.

To cite this article:

Place, C, Bendell, J, Chapman, I, McPhie, J and Murphy, D F (2021) ‘Integral research on the Lake District Pound: six mixed methods for assessing the impact of a currency’ International Journal of Community Currency Research Volume 25 (Issue 1) 34-51; http://www.ijccr.net; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2021.003