New plastic £10 note launches
The note is made from polymer, a thin, flexible plastic material – already used on new £5 notes – which is expected to last around 2.5 times longer than paper.
Just over a billion plastic £10 notes have been printed, but it could take days if not weeks for them to trickle down into shoppers’ change.
The new note features novelist Jane Austen, with 2017 marking 200 years since her death.
It will include a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help blind and partially sighted holders identify the note and it also has a lower carbon footprint than its paper counterpart.
The paper £10 note featuring Charles Darwin will be slowly withdrawn from circulation by spring 2018 but the Bank of England confirms consumers will be given at least three months’ notice before it loses its legal tender status.
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said: “Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country’s collective memory, promoting awareness of the United Kingdom’s glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens. The new £10 note celebrates Jane Austen’s work. Austen’s novels have a universal appeal and speak as powerfully today as they did when they were first published.”
A new £20 note featuring J.M.W Turner will follow in 2020.