A press release issued today by the Bank of England has announced that polymer £5 and £10 banknotes will be issued from 2016.
The new notes will use similar designs to the existing £5 and £10 banknotes currently in circulation – including similar colour schemes as the previous notes and a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. There will be new portraits displayed on the reverse of the notes – the £5 will feature Sir Winston Churchill and the £10 will feature Jane Austen.
In the press release, the Bank of England promotes the qualities of polymer banknotes, such as:
- their resistance to dirt, resulting in cleaner notes
- their security, incorporating new banknote security features specifically for polymer substrates
- their increased durability, lasting typically 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes in circulation
Though polymer notes are more expensive to produce compared to traditional paper notes, due to their increased longevity it is expected that the Bank of England will make savings overall due to the reduced number of notes that will need to be manufactured.
This decision comes after a 2 month public consultation to introduce sample polymer notes to the public. Stands were set up at various shopping centres throughout the UK to gauge public opinion about the new polymer notes. Nearly 13,000 people provided feedback, of which 87% were in favour of the new notes, with 6% opposed and 7% neutral.
There is a tender currently underway for the printing of the banknotes from April 2015. The Bank of England said that it expected “to enter a contract with Innovia Security to supply the polymer material for the new-style £5 and £10 notes, in which case Innovia would establish a polymer production plant in Wigton, Cumbria, in 2016.”
“We are grateful to the thousands of people who came to talk to us about polymer banknotes. We know that the public care greatly about their banknotes and the feedback we received provided an invaluable input into our final decision.” Chris Salmon, Executive Director for Banking Services and Chief Cashier.
Watch the Bank of England’s video “Feedback from the polymer consultation”.
Source: Bank of England