After six years of development the new ‘plastic fivers’ that feature Sir Winston Churchill will be available from the UK’s cash machines today, 13th September 2016.
The Bank of England has printed £440 million of the new, shiny notes. For Victoria Cleland, the Bank’s chief cashier whose name is on ever one of the polymer notes, it is a brilliant day.
Approximately £70 million was invested in the research, development and printing of the banknotes. With new cutting edge security features, such as a see-through window, the bank notes are guaranteed to make you look twice.
One of the many reason the move towards the choice to move towards a polymer note is durability. Bank scientists tested how the notes react in washing machines and in machines full of grit. The outcomes were outstanding against the average paper note.
The new design is predicted to last around five years, - two and a half times longer than our pre-existing £5 note.
So far reviews seem extremely positive, with John Humphrys famously being filmed trying to destroy one of the new £5 notes.
The only worry concerning Cleland in relation to the notes is that people may become frustrated at the wait to handle one. But its predicted that by early January half of £5 notes in circulation will be polymer.