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Last chance to spend old £5 notes

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Anyone with an old paper £5 note will need to spend it by the end of today as they’ll no longer be accepted in shops after this date.

The Bank of England (BoE) will withdraw from circulation the paper £5 note featuring Elizabeth Fry this Friday 5 May.

After this date, the only £5 note which will be legal tender is the polymer note featuring Sir Winston Churchill which entered circulation in September last year.

This means you need to spend the note in shops by the end of the day on 5 May. The BoE said some banks and building societies may accept the paper note after this date, but it’s at their discretion.

Anyone who still has an old £5 note can exchange it for free at the Bank of England in London, either in person or by post.

The ‘new’ plastic note is resistant to dirt and moisture and is set to last around 2.5 times longer than the paper form.

Following its launch in September, concerns were raised by animal campaigners and some religious groups about the discovery of traces of tallow – a substance made from animal fat – used in its production. However, the BoE said reprints would costs in the region of £46m.

A new £10 polymer note featuring writer Jane Austen is also set to launch on 18 July and a new £20 note featuring British artist JMW Turner is due to enter circulation by 2020.

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