Innovia Group CEO, Mark Robertshaw, Bank of England Chief Cashier, Victoria Cleland and Innovia Films MD, Joe Piccione inspecting a reel of Clarity C film at the end of the new bubble line.
The Bank of England’s Chief Cashier has officially opened a new film line that will be used for the production of the UK’s polymer banknotes.
Victoria Cleland opened the new ‘Clarity C’ line, more commonly referred to as the ‘Bubble’, at Innovia’s UK polymer plant in Wigton this week.
This is an important milestone in the development of the site, which will produce the polymer for nearly two billion new £5 and £10 banknotes.
During her visit, Cleland was given a tour of the new production facility and met some of the BOPP management team who were involved in the 18-month Bubble construction programme.
The film line, a five-storey high ‘bubble’, takes plastic pellets and using heat, gravity, and air produces a polymer film of uniform thickness, quality and strength.
The new line is part of an overall investment programme of over £40 million by Innovia, which includes the build of a completely new Innovia Security opacification plant on land adjacent to Innovia Films BOPP facility.
This will enable the ‘Guardian’ substrate for the banknotes to be produced at the same location as the manufacture of Clarity C, the base film used to make Guardian.
After the tour, Cleland unveiled a commemorative plaque in the atrium of OPP 2, the building that houses the new line. The visit ended with speeches in the Lowther R&D Centre where Mark enthused “We are truly delighted that our unique film manufactured here in Wigton will be used for the Bank of England’s new £5 and £10 banknotes. The first banknote to be issued is the £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill in 2016.”
Victoria commented “It is exciting today to visit the site where the polymer for our new £5 and £10 banknotes will be produced. The opening of the new Bubble is a key milestone in delivering our evolutionary polymer banknotes and ensuring that our banknotes remain fit for purpose and provide strong counterfeit resilience.”