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New polymer £50

The new £50 banknote featuring the British scientist Alan Turing will be issued for the first time on June 23, which coincides with Alan Turing’s birthday.

The polymer £50 contains security features; like the £20, it incorporates two windows and a two-colour foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit, says the Bank. A hologram image changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when tilting the note from side to side.

As the Bank says, polymer banknotes last longer than paper notes and stay in better condition during their use. This note, like the polymer £10 and £20 will contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination. The £50 will join the Churchill £5, the Austen £10 and the Turner £20, meaning all Bank of England banknotes are now available in polymer. The public can continue to use paper £50 notes. Notice will be given at least six months ahead of the date when the old paper £50 is withdrawn.

Bank Governor Andrew Bailey said: “There’s something of the character of a nation in its money, and we are right to consider and celebrate the people on our banknotes. So I’m delighted that our new £50 features one of Britain’s most important scientists, Alan Turing. Turing is best known for his codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, which helped end the Second World War. However in addition he was a leading mathematician, developmental biologist, and a pioneer in the field of computer science. He was also gay, and was treated appallingly as a result. By placing him on our new polymer £50 banknote, we are celebrating his achievements, and the values he symbolises”.

The new £50 will feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank’s Chief Cashier. She said: “This new £50 note completes our set of polymer banknotes. These are much harder to counterfeit, and with its security features the new £50 is part of our most secure series of banknotes yet. These security features are common across all our banknotes, so if you can check one, you can check them all.”

Under ultraviolet light, the number ‘50’ appears in bright red and green, against a duller background. For all the security features visit the Bank’s website. For a link between the £50 note and the oldest piece of furniture in the Bank’s collection, a 300-year-old safe chest, click here. Visit


Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman said: “We are encouraging retailers to familiarise themselves and their colleagues with the new security features of the polymer £50 note ahead of its issue in June. Retailers should also seek to contact the manufacturer or supplier of their cash handling machines to discuss what adaptations will be required for issuance of the new £50 note.”

The Bank of England offers a free Banknote Checking Scheme training materials.


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