LONDON – The Bank of England on Thursday unveiled the design of its first plastic banknote, a five-pound bill that will enter circulation on Sept. 13.
The bill’s front bears the face of Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse side features late Prime Minister Winston Churchill against the backdrop of Westminster.
Printed on polymer, the new bill is 15 percent smaller than the current paper currency, but will last 2.5 times as long and remain cleaner, according to the Bank.
The bill also has next-generation safety features that make it even more difficult to counterfeit, the Bank said.
“The New Fiver will commemorate the achievements of the only prime minister to win the Nobel Prize for literature and one of the greatest statesmen of all time – Sir Winston Churchill,” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said during the presentation at Blenheim Palace, the wartime leader’s birthplace.
“Our banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom’s collective memory and like Churchill, our new polymer notes will stand the test of time,” Carney said.