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Wales Institute for Community Currencies

John Rogers has announced the launch of the new Wales Institute for Community Currencies, which is a partnership project between University of Wales College Newport, Time Banks UK and Valleys Kids (a charity working with young people in the South Wales Valleys). The project is part-funded by European Regional Development Funds.

In the shorter term (three years of European funding) the aim of the project is to test out various applications of Community Time Banking in at least 16 of the most marginalised communities in the South Wales Valleys. Nearly all of these communities are in ex-mining or steelmaking areas. The results of these pilots will be carefully monitored, evaluated and published for consideration by other Community Currency practitioners and policy makers.

In the longer term the Institute aims to test, monitor and evaluate all forms of Community Currencies in the arenas of community development, social and economic regeneration. It aims to make clear links between sound theory and useful, productive practice, providing step-by-step guides for practitioners and an evidence base for policy makers.

The Institute will explore the following possibilities: · learning time credits to underpin informal learning · health credits to promote healthy living · increasing numbers of participants in community environmental projects through rewards for participation · tourist currencies · currency for Wales.

The formal launch of the project will take place on Thursday 20th November 2003 at the Oasis Centre near Caerphilly, at which both local community development practitioners and policy makers from the National Assembly for Wales will be present. The Project Coordinators are:
· John Rogers, who established South Powys LETS in 1993 and acted as coordinator/ chair of that system until this year, organised two all Wales LETS conferences in 1995 and 1999, edited Sabine McNeill's paper on a currency for Wales, presented progress on the Currency Wales project to the Forum for Stable Currencies at the UK House of Lords in 2002 and now acts as a trustee of Time Banks UK.
· Geoff Thomas, who has worked for many years in community regeneration in the South Wales Valleys, managing a range of projects and consultancy in community arts, housing and community development. He is a staff member of Valleys Kids and the regional development worker for Time Banks UK in Wales.

John Rogers states that the new Institute would like to cooperate with and take advice from people who are interested in the interface between Community Currencies and community regeneration and who would like to work with them to pioneer new applications of Community Currencies in Wales. Contact: John Rogers. Project Coordinator, Wales Institute for Community Currencies, University of Wales College Newport, c/o Tradeteam, Festival Drive, Ebbw Vale, Gwent NP23 8XF - Tel: 01495 350744 - Fax: 01495 308252 - Email: john.rogers@newport.ac.uk

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