Welcome to LETSlink Wales

The basic idea of LETS which stands for Local Exchange Trading Scheme is that a community of people can create their own local currency (also called complementary currency) to pay for goods and services in their own trading network, so members don't have to do a direct exchange, and don't have to borrow money from a bank. This idea is known as Mutual Credit. Each group chooses a meaningful name for their currency - our initial suggestion for Wales, subject to ratification by members is Dragons - and can be managed through an online system, which has been incorporate into this website, to form a national hub for Wales, serving as both a demo and a networking space.

Local Exchange Trading is based on the idea that "give and take" are balanced out between members over a period of time, but this may require some nudging on the part of organisers, whilst a social fund can be created to support the needs of any members who genuinely need more than they can give. In this sense, the network does not run itself, and LETS link advises that a committee - usually called a Core Group, who take on different roles requiring particular skills, be appointed - ideally at an annual AGM - to manage the scheme. LETS encourages people to make connections, build friendships, and strengthen their communities. There is more on theory and practice on the LETSlink UK website - see Documents Archive.

Why All Wales?. There was a flurry of interest in community currencies in the 1990s, and LETSlink UK incorporated feedback from local groups into an info-pack to support new start-ups. Many groups did not manage to sustain themselves, but we are still in touch with many of the earlier organisers, whilst new potential organisers continue to contact us for support, so the purpose of this Welsh hub to serve as a demo-site and connect up people over this region, to provide mutual support. Where there is sufficient energy, more local groups can be formed, whilst still maintaining a connection to this hub. Updates in methodology will be communicated via a UK hub, enabling connections to other regions, which are also being developed.

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