Today (Wednesday June 23), the new polymer £50 note featuring the scientist Alan Turing has entered circulation, and the Bank of England has announced the date when paper notes will be phased out.
The new note will start to become available in bank branches and at ATMs in the coming days and weeks.
The last day Bank of England paper £20 and £50 notes can be used will be 30 September 2022 and after this date paper notes will no longer be legal tender, people will be encouraged to spend them or deposit them at their bank ahead of this date.
The polymer £50 note joins the Churchill £5, the Austen £10 and the Turner £20, meaning all Bank of England banknotes are now available on polymer.
Speaking at Bletchley Park, where Turing carried out his famous codebreaking work, governor Andrew Bailey said: “Our banknotes celebrate some of our country’s most important historical figures. That’s why I am delighted that Alan Turing features on the new polymer £50 note.
“Having undertaken remarkable codebreaking work here at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, he went on to pioneer work on early computers, as well as making some ground-breaking discoveries in the field of developmental biology. He was also gay and was treated appallingly as a result. Placing him on this new banknote is a recognition of his contributions to our society, and a celebration of his remarkable life.”
Speaking as the note entered circulation, the Bank of England’s chief cashier Sarah John said “The polymer £50 note is the most secure Bank of England banknote yet, and the features of the note make it very difficult to counterfeit. All of our polymer banknotes can be checked by looking for two key security features: a hologram which changes image; and see-through windows. So if you can check one denomination of banknote, you can check them all. The new £50 notes, like the polymer £10 and £20 notes, contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination.”