By Jennifer Ugwueke
The Bank of England has unveiled the design of its new £50 banknote honouring World War II code breaker Alan Turing.
The polymer £50 will be issued for the first time on 23 June 2021, which coincides with Alan Turing’s birthday.
Labelled the most secure set of Bank of England polymer banknotes yet, the polymer £50 note contains advanced security features.
Like the £20 note, it incorporates two windows and a two-colour foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit.
It also features a hologram image, which changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when tilting the note from side to side.
One of the benefits of polymer banknotes is that they last longer than paper notes and stay in better condition during their use.
This note, like the polymer £10 and £20 will also contain a feature to help vision impaired people identify the value.
The polymer £50 note will join the Churchill £5, the Austen £10 and the Turner £20, meaning all Bank of England banknotes are now available in polymer.
People can continue to use paper £50 notes as usual, even after the polymer note is introduced in June.
At least six months of notice will be given ahead of the date when the old paper £50 is withdrawn.
Commenting on the new note, 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 note will feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank’s Chief Cashier.
She added: “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.”