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Bank of England’s new plastic banknotes a ‘done deal’

Plastic banknotes with a see-through image of Britannia are likely to replace traditional paper notes from 2016 under plans being drawn up by the Bank of England.

The Bank said the wipe-clean polymer notes will be less tatty, tougher to counterfeit and last up to six times longer than cotton-paper based notes. They will also be 15% smaller, bringing English notes into line with sizes in other countries, but will remain larger than existing euro notes.

The public will have the chance to look at and feel the new notes at shopping centres across the country in a consultation process that starts immediately, with the new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, taking a final decision on the go-ahead in December. The Sir Winston Churchill £5 note will be the first to be made in polymer and launched in 2016, with the Jane Austen £10 note following in 2017. All the notes will continue to feature the Queen and use existing colours.

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