Last Thursday Cardiff Transition had a Show and Tell event to showcase some of the more recent projects that have come out of the movement.
One of these is the Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) Shop In Penarth scheme. Anthony Slaughter and Patricia Griffiths explained why they think the loyalty scheme has brought unity to independent traders to the town.
A card costs £1 to buy and card holders are then entitled to discounts in various independent businesses. These are listed on the website. It is designed to try and keep the shopping areas in Penarth vibrant and support the local economy.
Anthony explained that they didn’t feel a community currency, such as the Cardiff Taff would have been the right way to go for Penarth as, although the media like them, the public and shopkeepers aren’t always as enthusiastic, especially if the scheme is set up and gets going too quickly. He said the GPG philosophy was: “start slowly, see if something works and then build on it.”
Patricia said businesses like the scheme as it offers them extra publicity. GPG also do a monthly Green Awards that people can nominate retailers for. The winner gets an article and photo in the local paper which she said is worth over £1,000 in advertising to the shop but also gives publicity to GPG.
The scheme includes a variety of shops, including ones offering similar products or services. But Patricia said that this has helped boost loyalty to the town, as opposed to any specific shop but that the shopkeepers have found that the competition has not harmed their sales, in fact some feel it has helped.
Anthony said that Shop In Penarth has also helped engage people in green issues that wouldn’t have normally come to GPG meetings and brought in some new members. They both agreed that the scheme had helped build community feeling in the town. Over 2,000 loyalty cards have been sold and that number is going up all the time.
Ideas for the future of Shop In Penarth include a local shop delivery system by bike and a phone top up system.
The Transition Network is a global movement to build community resilience in the face of peak oil. With a focus on sustainability, groups have formed in many villages, towns and cities where people are working together on a variety of projects to tackle economic hardships, climate change and sustainability issues.