The Bank of England has announced its decision to adopt polymer bank notes following the completion of its UK-wide consultation process.
The contract for printing the Bank of England’s notes from April 2015 is currently being tendered, however, the Bank expects to enter a contract with Innovia Security, a division of the Innovia Group, to supply the polymer material for the new-style £5 and £10 notes.
Innovia plans to build a 'state-of-the-art' opacification plant at its Wigton, UK, site, which will require an investment of over £20 million. Its Guardian polymer substrate is already well established, being used by over 20 other countries, including Canada.
The new opacification plant is expected to be fully operational in early 2016 and will ultimately produce the polymer substrate required for the new Winston Churchill £5 note, which will be launched in 2016. The Jane Austen £10 note will follow around a year later. This investment will also create 70 to 80 additional jobs.
Mr David Beeby, CEO, Innovia Group expressed his excitement saying "We are very proud to have been selected as the preferred supplier of the polymer substrate for the new £5 and £10 bank notes. This decision not only recognises the benefits that polymer notes have to offer but also Innovia's expertise in this field."
The decision to print on polymer follows a three-year research programme by the Bank looking at the materials on which banknotes are printed, which concluded that there were compelling reasons to move to printing on plastic
Commenting, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said: “The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost to the taxpayer and the environment.”