The new bills, which replace the image of naturalist Charles Darwin with that of early-19th century novelist Jane Austen, will be issued on Sept. 14 2017 and will be the first to include a tactile feature to help the visually impaired, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced.
The note will be made of durable polymer – which the UK central bank introduced for the five-pound note last year – and include a series of raised dots in the top left corner to help the blind and partially sighted. The old paper currency will be withdrawn in spring 2018.
“Our banknotes serve as repositories of the country’s collective memory, promoting awareness of the UK’s glorious history and highlighting the contributions of its greatest citizens,” Carney said at an event in Winchester, south-west of London, where Austen is buried. The features aim to ensure that “the nation’s money is as inclusive as possible.”
The new tenner, as it is known in Britain, has drawn controversy from the start. When it enters circulation it will be the only Bank of England (BOE) banknote with a woman on the reverse – although the queen appears on the front of all notes as the sovereign – and some of the campaigners that lobbied for a female-figure faced harassment and online abuse.
The new polymer £20 note will be issued in 2020. Polymer banknotes are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper banknotes. They will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, and increase the quality of banknotes in circulation.
New 10 GBP facts:
- A polymer banknote
- Total value = 8.05 bn GBP
- 800m notes in circulation
- 70.000 ATMs that dispense new 10s
- First 10GBP was designed back in 1759
- It’s fifth 10 GBP design
Polymer banknotes are also more environmentally friendly than paper due to their durability. The Carbon Trust has certified that over their full life cycle, the carbon footprint of a £5 polymer banknote is 16% lower than the £5 paper banknote, while the carbon footprint of a £10 polymer banknote is 8% lower than the £10 paper banknote.
This certification was completed in accordance to the international standard PAS 2050, looking at the full life cycle of greenhouse gas emissions related to the banknotes, including from their production, use in circulation and final disposal.