New polymer £20 note with JMW Turner enters circulation

A new polymer £20 note featuring artist JMW Turner has entered circulation for the first time, the Bank of England has announced.

New polymer £20 note with JMW Turner enters circulation

The new note will start appearing in ATMs and tills throughout the UK and half of all ATMs are expected to be dispensing polymer £20s within two weeks.

The banknote has been described as the Bank of England’s “most secure yet”, including two see-through windows and a two colour foil which make it very difficult to counterfeit.

The note will join the Churchill £5 and the Austen £10 in the first series of polymer notes. A new polymer £50 featuring Alan Turing will be issued next year.

Governor Mark Carney said: “Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s extraordinarily rich and diverse heritage and highlight the contributions of its greatest citizens.

“Turner’s art was transformative. I am delighted that the work of arguably the single most influential British artist of all time will now appear on another two billion works of art – the new £20 notes that people can start using today.”

The new £20 note is the first to feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank’s current chief cashier.

Ms John said: “Moving the £20 note to polymer marks a major step forward in our fight against counterfeiting. I am very grateful to everyone across the cash industry who has made this transition possible and I hope the public enjoy using their new Turner £20s.”

There are over two billion £20 notes in circulation. Laid end to end, two billion polymer £20 notes would stretch around the world almost seven times and weigh a total of 1,780 tonnes – that’s over 141 double decker buses.

Paper £20 notes can continue to be used as normal and the Bank will give six months’ notice ahead of their withdrawal.

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