Bank of England unveils new £20 note design
11 October 2019
English Romantic artist JMW Turner will feature on the new £20 note unveiled by The Bank of England today, set for issuance on 20 February 2020.
To celebrate the work of one of nation’s most cherished artistic figures, the note will feature the quote “Light is therefore colour” from an 1818 lecture by Turner referring to the innovative use of light, shade, colour and tone in his pictures.
75% of the new £20 notes will be on Guardian polymer when they enter circulation next year.
The note will contain sophisticated security features, incorporating two windows and a two-colour foil.
CCL Secure’s Guardian polymer substrate for the £20 has been produced in the state-of-the-art facilities in Wigton, built specifically to support the Bank of England’s new polymer family as part of an overall investment programme of over £40 million, which included Innovia Films’ new Clarity™C production line – the high-security base film used to make Guardian.
Vice President and Managing Director of CCL Secure, Neil Sanders, said the unveiling is tangible reward for the team in Wigton’s hard work over the last two years.
“We’re extremely honoured to have supplied Guardian polymer as the initial main substrate for the next £20 note,” said Mr Sanders.
“We’ve worked in close collaboration with the Bank of England over the last ten years, developing the full substrate design of the £5 and £10 banknotes and assisting in the design and consultation process for all the bank’s future polymer notes.
“Guardian polymer banknotes have a 30-year track record for reducing counterfeiting rates and a banknote’s carbon footprint over its lifespan. The new £20 note will bring a cleaner, safer, stronger banknote to the British public,”
CCL Secure entered into a contract with Bank of England in 2017 to supply the substrate for the new £20 note, the most circulated denomination accounting for 60% of all notes in circulation.
As a result of the success of the £5 and £10 banknotes, CCL Secure signed a contract with the Bank in June 2019 to supply the polymer substrate for the next £50 note, featuring Alan Turing, with launch in 2021.
This means the Bank will join Australia, Brunei, Canada, Mauritania, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Romania with their full family of notes on Guardian, the leading substrate used for polymer notes worldwide. These countries will also be shortly joined by Costa Rica and Nicaragua who have also recently announced their full families of banknotes will be on polymer.
Features on the new £20 note include:
- A large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front depicting Margate lighthouse and Turner Contemporary. The foil is silver on the back. The shape of the large window is based on the shape of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.
- A smaller see-through window in the bottom corner of the note, inspired by Tintern Abbey.
- JMW Turner’s self-portrait, painted c. 1799 and currently on display in Tate Britain.
- One of Turner’s most eminent paintings The Fighting Temeraire; a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The painting is currently on display in the National Gallery and was voted the nation’s favourite painting in a 2005 poll run by BBC Radio 4.
- A metallic hologram which changes between the word ‘Twenty’ and ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.
- The Queen’s portrait in the see-through window with ‘£20 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.
- A silver foil patch with a 3D image of the coronation crown.
- A purple foil patch containing the letter ‘T’ and based on the staircase at the Tate Britain.
- Turner’s signature from his Will, the document with which he bequeathed many of his paintings to the nation.