This weekend, the Bank of England confirmed that the £50 note will remain part of UK currency and a new batch will be issued after the £20 note in 2020 following a public nomination process to select potential characters to appear on it.

In keeping with the new £5 and £10 polymer notes, the £50 will also be printed on thin, flexible plastic polymer material, making them cleaner, safer and stronger.

In September 2016, the first polymer £5 note featuring Winston Churchill entered circulation in the UK. Its success lead to the Jane Austen £10 polymer note being released the following year and plans for the first polymer £20 note featuring artist JMW Turner to be issued in 2020. It will be down to the public to decide who should appear on the new £50 notes, so who would you nominate? 

£20 concept image. Credit: Bank of England.

The £50 note was first introduced in 1981 and there are now 330 million in circulation, totalling a combined value of £16.5 billion!

Recently there have been fears that £50 notes are being used for criminal activity such as tax evasion and are rarely used for standard purchases. However, the Treasury has said that this new batch of polymer notes has been designed to be more secure and harder to forge, meaning that they are here to stay.

2011 £50 note. Credit: Bank of England.

They will also be more durable and environmentally friendly than their predecessors, lasting roughly 2.5 times longer than paper notes.

Sarah John, the Bank’s Chief Cashier, said: “I’m very excited to be starting the process of introducing a new £50 note. At the Bank, we are committed to providing the public with high quality notes they can use with confidence. Moving the £50 note onto polymer is an important next step to ensure that we can continue to do that.”

What are your thoughts on the £50 note and who would you like to see feature on the next polymer batch? Let us know in the comments below!


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LEEDS

HSBC: 33 Park Row, LS1 1LD

YORKSHIRE BANK: 94-96 Briggate, LS1 6NP

CARDTRONICS: Rawdon Newsagents, 11 Harrogate Road, LS19 6HW

LIVERPOOL

SANTANDER: 45 Lord Street, L2 6PB

NEWCASTLE

SANTANDER: 112-118 Northumberland Street, NE1 7DG

BIRMINGHAM

HSBC: 130 New Street, B2 4JU

NATWEST: Grand Central, B2 4BF

LLOYDS: 36-38 New Street, B2 4EG

BARCLAYS: 79-84 High Street, B4 7TE

MANCHESTER

NOTE MACHINE: Lowry Outlet Mall, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AP

NATWEST: 1 Spinningfields, M3 3AP

BARCLAYS: 17 St Ann’s Square, M2 7PW

LONDON

NOTE MACHINE: Barry’s Food and Wine, 149 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ

SANTANDER: 48-54 Moorgate, EC2R 6EJ & 164-167 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7JE & 2 Triton Square, Regents Place, NW1 3AN

POST OFFICE: 26/28 The Broadway, E15 4QS

BARCLAYS: 46-48 Regent Street, Piccadilly, W18 5RA

HSBC: 165 Fleet Street, EC4A 2DY

NATIONWIDE: 1 Threadneedle Street, EC2r 8BP

NATWEST: 10 Southwark Street, SE1 1TJ

LLOYDS: 33 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HZ

BASINGSTOKE

NATWEST: 3 London Street, RG21 7NS

WINCHESTER

SANTANDER: 119 High Street, SO23 9AS

NATWEST: 105 High Street, SO23 9AW

BATH

NOTE MACHINE : Eurochange Bath, 6 Southgate Street

HSBC: 45 Milsom Street, BA1 1DU

NATWEST: 15-17 High Street, BA1 5AH

CARDIFF

LLOYDS: 31 Queens Street, CF10 2AG

SWINDON

NATIONWIDE: Nationwide House, Pipers Way, SN3 1TX

The Bank of England officially revealed the new £10 polymer banknote in a ceremony at Winchester Cathedral – the burial place of Jane Austen, on the 200th anniversary of her death.

Winchester Cathedral- where Jane Austen is buried.

What does it look like?

The new £10 note features a portrait image of Jane Austen (commissioned by her nephew James Edward Austen Leigh in 1870), alongside the famous quotation from her novel Pride and Prejudice: ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” 

The new Polymer £10 note features Jane Austen (Image: Bank of England)

Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.​ An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking “The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her” from a drawing by Isobel Bishop (1902-1988) is also featured.

The new £10 note is 15% smaller than the current £10 note – Source: Bank of England

There is also an image of Godmersham Park, the home of Edward Austen Knight (Jane Austen’s brother). It is believed that she visited the house often and it was the inspiration for a number of Jane Austen’s novels.

When can I find one in my change?

The new note entered circulation on 14th September this year and around 55% of £10 banknotes in circulation are made from polymer.

Will I still be able to spend my current £10 notes?

Yes you will, but only up until 1 March 2018.  As with the old paper £5 notes, the £10 note will eventually cease to be legal tender – but you will still be able to exchange them at the Bank of England.

What will happen to the paper £10 notes once they’re no longer legal tender?

There are approximately 359,000,000 paper ten pound notes in circulation, but the Bank of England does have a plan for them.

Once the Bank of England start to withdraw the paper £10 notes from circulation, they will be recycled.

In the early 2000s, the Bank of England introduced a new way to get rid of its old notes – by recycling them with a composting treatment similar to that used with food waste.

This recycling method was put into place for all paper-note waste in 2011, using them as a soil improver for agriculture.

What should I look out for on the new polymer £10 banknotes?

When the new polymer £5 note was released in September 2016, serial numbers became the talk of a nation. The first prefixes I considered were JA01, JA75 (Jane Austen’s birth year) and JA17 (the year of Jane Austen’s death). However, whilst these will likely become popular with collectors in the future,  it could be many years before notes with these serial numbers enter circulation due to the huge amount of possible combinations that would come before ‘JA’. Click here to find out what else you should be looking for on these banknotes >> 

So the new era of Plastic Banknotes is officially upon us! What do you make of the new Polymer banknotes? 


Mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death

To celebrate such an inspirational female figure, the Royal Mint and the Bank of England have chosen to honour her on a brand new £2 coin and £10 banknote.

Click here to own the 2017 Jane Austen £2 Coin and £10 Banknote Pack today >>