UK banknotes to go plastic in 2016
18 December 2013 | 6888 views | 1
The Bank of England has confirmed that the UK's banknotes are going plastic, beginning in 2016 with a fiver featuring the face of Winston Churchill.
A polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen will follow in 2017 after the BofE finally decided to take the plunge and ditch cotton paper after three years of research.
The Bank argues that plastic is cleaner, more secure and lasts at least two and a half times longer than cotton paper.
The switch has also gained backing from the public, with 87% of 13000 Brits who gave their view in a public consultation in favour of polymer, compared to just six per cent who were opposed.
The contract to print the new notes is currently being tendered but a deal has already been lined up with Innovia Security for the supply of the polymer material. Australian firm Innovia will set up a production plant in Wigton, Cumbria, in 2016.
BofE governor Mark Carney, who forced a switch to polymer notes during his tenure as head of Canada's central bank, says: "Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do. Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design to meet that objective."