Bank of England unveils new £20 note featuring the artist JMW Turner

10 October 2019

The Bank of England says the polymer note is the most secure it has designed


The Bank of England governor Mark Carney has unveiled the design of the new £20 note featuring the artist JMW Turner.

The new note was launched at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, named after the famous landscape painter. Turner went to school in Margate and the town inspired many of his paintings.

The polymer £20 note comes after the launch of the Churchill £5 in 2016 and the Austen £10 in 2017.

The note, which the banks says is it most secure yet, will enter circulation on 20 February 2020.

The Bank has moved away from traditional paper notes because polymer is more durable, cleaner, and more difficult to forge.

The public can continue to spend paper £20 notes as usual and notice will be given six months ahead of them being withdrawn.

Mr Carney says: “Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals. Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favourite stretch of shoreline. 

“Turner’s painting was transformative, his influence spanned lifetimes, and his legacy endures today. The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory.”

The polymer £20 note contains sophisticated security that makes it difficult to counterfeit, including two see-through windows and a metallic hologram.

Polymer notes last longer than paper notes and they stay in better condition during day-to-day use.

Just like the polymer £10, the note will contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination.

The note features one of Turner’s most eminent paintings, The Fighting Temeraire - a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire which involved 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.

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

She says: “The new £20 is an important part of our commitment to providing banknotes that people can use with confidence. 

"Our polymer notes are much harder to counterfeit and, with the £20 being our most common note, this marks a big step forward in our fight against counterfeiting. I hope the public will look forward to spending their new Turner £20s from February next year.”


New £20 note

Good to see we will soon have a polymer £20 note in circulation. Despite the trend to become a cashless society! I am happy to use Cards but still like cash... I am of that age.

PO Bank Service

I use Co-op bank now only because I can use local Post Office to draw cash, pay in cash and pay in cheques with an envelope and paying in slip, they closed all their branches within travelling distance. The Post Office in village closed but Today Local opened Post Office counter and they carry a lot more cash the the Post Office did and no problem getting £500 a day with my Debit Card. I would open a Post Office current account if they used a British bank but I believe they use an Irish bank for their accounts, silly with Post Office being British.

Barclays Closures & stopping withdrawals at post offices

The comment above where you state Barclays will not close banks in remote areas when it’s the last bank in town!! WHAT a joke - and a lie! Barclays was the ONLY bank in Welwyn village. The village consists of a largely elderly population - Many have poor mobility or are infirm. Many rely on others and are without their own transport. The small village post office was at least available for cash withdrawals & now loyal Barclays customers are being denied this. Ask Barclays “Do they care”?? Even if such folk DO use online banking....don’t Barclays Bosses realise you can’t get cash out of a computer or mobile phone??? I am disgusted that they are stopping this facilities and yet even when we complain, they take no notice. Just WHO makes these selfish decisions with little or no thought for their customers with a REAL NEED? From Helen

Dreadful plastic cash - can I have a sackful

The new polymer banknotes are truly dreadful, they are too stiff and do not sit right on your pocket. Sophisticated security at the expense of useability, they certainly do not inspire confidence in our money. I have yet to meet anyone who has something positive to say about them. A classic case of hitting a target but missing the point !

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