First look – the new Churchill £5 note revealed…

The New Sir Winston Churchill Polymer £5 Note

The New Sir Winston Churchill Polymer £5 Note © Bank of England [2015]

The Bank of England has just revealed their first ever polymer banknote in a ceremony at Blenheim Palace.

The new £5 note features an image of Sir Winston Churchill, alongside the famous quotation from his first speech as Prime Minister: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.’

In the background the clock on Queen Elizabeth’s Tower reads 3pm, the time Churchill was making his speech in 1940. Behind the Houses of Parliament you can see the Nobel Prize for literature which the great statesman won in 1953.

The New £5 Note

The other side of the £5 note featuring Queen Elizabeth II © Bank of England [2015]

The other side of the note features a raft of new security measures including a see-through window, multiple holograms and micro-lettering under the Queen’s portrait – which can only be viewed under a microscope.

But most importantly…

When can I find one in my change?

The new note will enter circulation on September 13th this year. However, with millions of existing five pound notes still in use you may not be able to find one straight away.

Will I still be able to spend my current £5 notes?

Yes you will, but only up until May 2017. After that, they will cease to be legal tender – but you will still be able to exchange them at the Bank of England.

So the new era of Plastic Banknotes is officially upon us! What do you make of the new design? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments below.

www.changechecker.orgYou can Find, Collect and Swap all of the UK commemorative coins you find in your change for free on the Change Checker Web App… try it here now:


  1. David Metcalf on June 14, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I have a 2004 ww1 your country needs you £2 coin with edge writing upside down I have checked price to buy without error just wanted to no is it worth much more with edging print upside down ? Regards David

    • Yasmin Britton on June 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Hi David, this isn’t actually an error. The edge lettering is applied before the coin has even been struck which is why some coins end up with the lettering upside down. You can find out more about the striking of coins on our blog: I hope this helps. Thanks, Yasmin

  2. PAUL JOHN WILSON on June 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    would the old style five pound notes be collectable and worth much in future? i would like to have a few collected for my own collection and perhaps sell on in the future? i know its not all about making money but its an opportunity. i guess good clean non creased notes are more valuable?

  3. Chris on June 3, 2016 at 1:56 am

    You say only legal till 2017 but is this different in Scotland as obviously we use mix English and Scottish notes.

    • Robin Parkes on June 3, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Hi Chris, you’d have to speak to the issuing bank. As far as I understand Scottish and Northern Ireland banknotes are quite unique in the fact that they are promissory rather than legal tender so there is a good chance they will still be accepted even when the new Churchill note comes into use. As I said though, best to contact the issuing bank for confirmation. Kind regards, Robin.

  4. Graham Meldrum on June 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Major fail here – the Clydesdale Bank has been issuing plastic fivers for a year now in
    Scotland – or does Scotland not count as part of the U.K. ? And I am also told that plastic notes have been issued first in Northern Ireland some 20 years ago. Proof – if proofs were needed – of the Little England mentality, that alienates the rest of Britain. Please have the courtesy of correcting your headline.
    ps. they melt in the machines at Asda.

  5. Gwynne on June 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    The blog says ‘The Bank of England has just revealed the UK’s first ever polymer banknote in a ceremony at Blenheim Palace.’ – Mmm! Is Scotland still part of the United Kingdom? Is Northern Ireland still part of the United Kingdom? They were last time I looked and they have both previously issued polymer banknotes. Likewise so has the Isle of Man! Therefore it should read … ‘the Bank of England has just revealed the first polymer banknote in England and Wales’