UK Local Exchange Trading and Complementary Currencies
Development Agency

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Welcome!
SO WHAT ARE LETS?

LETS - Local Exchange Trading Systems or Schemes - are local community-based mutual aid networks in which people exchange all kinds of goods and services with one another, without the need for money.

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LETS are revitalising communities throughout Britain. As grassroots initiatives they are open to everyone - people of all ages, skills and abilities; local clubs and associations; voluntary groups, charities, community initiatives; housing co-operatives, small businesses and local services - helping everyone to give and take, connect to new resources, and find a genuine community identity.

LETS offer equal opportunities to all - whether employed or unemployed, financially secure or on low income, black or white, able or disabled. LETS use a system of community credits, so that direct exchanges do not have to be made. People earn LETS credits by providing a service, and can then spend the credits on whatever is offered by others on the scheme: for example childcare, transport, food, home repairs or the hire of tools and equipment.

Research in the mid-nineties indicated that at least 40,000 people were involved in some 450 LETS schemes, most of them established according to the democratic and co-operative LETS model developed in Britain by LETSLINK UK, which began work in 1991. Our current contact list of over 300 indicates that their has been some shrinkage - if we say that membership averages 100 per scheme, this means about 30,000 or fewer members in the UK.

However, this has been accompanied by an increase in related initiatives, such as Timebanks, Freecycle, Commercial Barter, Fairtrade Campaigns, and Community Networks of all kinds, which attest to the continuing interest of people in making things happen in their community.

Our ongoing research project, launched in September 2003, has the aim of establishing the current state of LETS in the UK, and the needs of LETS organisers. We are now seeking major funding to reinvigorate and support our organisation so that we can provide better resources to our members, and will report progress on this page - watch this space.

For your LETS Introductory Pack and LOCAL LETS contacts please send your name, postal and email address with a cheque for £5 or follow the UK regional link. Group affiliation annual fee is £25 - please follow the link to the registration form here.

The LETS Info-Pack (120 pages) with full instructions on how to set up a LETS, send £12 (includes UK P&P, overseas is £15) to LETSLINK UK: 12 Southcote Rd, London N19 5BJ

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