A town will launch its own recession-busting currency on Saturday, with its best-known author appearing on the banknotes.

Laurie Lee, who wrote Cider With Rosie, is to appear on the £5 banknote of the new currency called the Stroud Pound.

The project hopes to fend off the recession by keeping money inside the Five Valleys area of Gloucestershire, allowing shoppers to use the notes in participating businesses.

Economist Molly Scott Cato, of the Stroud Proud Co-operative, said: "The aim of the currency is to keep economic value within the local economy, but the link to the local identity is also important.

"What makes Stroud better is that we have a lot of local producers here. We have a big farmer's market here and we hope there will be a synergy between consumers and producers.

"Green economists hope to achieve this kind of closed loop."

Laurie Lee was chosen for his "socialist principles" and because of his commitment to the region.

In its guide to the currency the group explains: "The recession means that we are all facing difficult economic times, but history teaches that when a community works together it can flourish even in the harshest conditions. The new local currency is one way that we can show our commitment to each other and to a secure and sustainable future.

"The current turbulence in the financial markets also suggests that global currencies may not be a secure basis upon which to organise our economic life."

The launch, at the town's appropriately named Threadneedle Street, will be attended by Dr Peter North, a currency expert from Liverpool University.