Rock legend David Bowie and comedian Chris Morris are among the faces that could grace the notes of a local currency being launched in Lambeth to boost trade.

The former Lambeth residents are on a shortlist of famous names that could grace the "Brixton Pound” currency, being launched on September 17.

Businesses and residents throughout the borough are invited to sign up to accept and spend the £1, £5, £10 and £20 notes that will go into circulation to be used as a replacement for sterling.

The currency is the brainchild of climate change campaign group Transition Town Brixton which want to encourage residents to spend their cash at small independent traders.

It is hoped the currency, which has full backing of Lambeth Council, will help reduce the carbon footprint of the borough by reducing the distances people travel for services and goods.

Project manager Tim Nichols, from Transition Town Brixton, said: “The Brixton Pound will be a great way to create more focus on the local economy. We want to make people think about the significance of where they spend their money.”

Some 55 businesses, mainly in Brixton, have already signed up to the scheme and now Mr Nichols wants to encourage businesses in areas such as Streatham and West Norwood to sign up.

He said: “It will strengthen the Lambeth economy which will benefit everyone and the environment.”

Major chain stores are not invited to sign up to the scheme - the first in use in any urban area in the UK. Similar schemes in Devon and Sussex have been described as “very successful”.

The amount of money to be printed, and where it will be first made available, remains under wraps for security reasons while the identity of the Brixton personalities who will replace the “Queen’s head” on the notes will be revealed at the currency launch.

A “note vote” on who should grace the currency to reflect the great diversity and personality of the area has already closed, and the winners are being approached for their approval.

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