Bank of England _£5
The concept design of the new polymer banknote, which will be unveiled officially on June 2.
The Bank of England will unveil the design of the new £5 bank note made from polymer at a ceremony in Oxfordshire tomorrow.
The unveiling will take place at Bleinham Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, who will feature on the new notes.
“On Thursday 2 June we will unveil the full design of the new fiver – the Bank of England’s first polymer banknote. The new fiver will bring a step change in counterfeit resilience and quality,” explained Victoria Cleland, the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier.
The new fiver will enter circulation in September 2016 with the paper £5 note being removed from circulation gradually thereafter.
The polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen will enter circulation around a year later and a new polymer £20 note, which the Bank revealed in April this year will feature the artist JMW Turner, will be introduced by 2020.
Benefits of Polymer
The decision to transition to polymer banknotes was made by the Bank of England in 2013, following a public consultation. The Bank concluded that in comparison to the current notes, made from cotton paper, the new polymer versions are cleaner, more durable and more difficult to copy.
Polymer banknotes are manufactured from a transparent plastic film, specially coated with an ink layer that enables it to carry the printed design features of banknotes. The material allows the inclusion of ‘windows’ or clear portions in the design, which enhance protection against counterfeits.
The ‘Guardian’ polymer substrate is manufactured by UK-based Innovia at its plant in Wigton, Cumbria, where a substantial investment has been made in a new manufacturing facility, which was officially opened by Cleland in November last year.
A sticky point
Aside from the numerous benefits of the new polymer notes, there has been concern amongst the public following reports that the notes are susceptible to ‘sticking together’, meaning individuals can unwittingly hand over more than one.
The Bank of England has said that brand new polymer notes “can sometimes stick together”, but that the effect is “short-lived” once in use.