Re-designed £50 notes are set to enter circulation from 2021 onwards, and they will be printed on polymer rather than paper.
As well as being more durable and long-lasting, polymer notes allow for enhanced security features, such as the holograms and see-through windows, making them harder to counterfeit.
Who will feature on the new £50 note?
The new £50 note will feature Alan Turing, the British scientist who is most famous for his work on code-breaking machines during WWII.
The scientist also came up with the theoretical underpinnings for the modern computer, and set the foundations for exploration of artificial intelligence by considering whether machines had the capacity to think.
Turing was homosexual and was persecuted by the British state for “gross indecency” as a result and forced to undergo chemical castration.
When will the new note be released?
As yet, no official circulation date has been given for the release of the new £50 note - only that it will enter circulation in 2021.
Old, paper £50 notes will continue to be accepted until the withdrawal rate is announced.
This will be announced following the release of the note, and at least three months’ notice will be given before old notes are withdrawn.
Beyond this date, many banks will accept withdrawn notes as customer deposits. The Post Office may accept withdrawn notes as payment for goods and services, and withdrawn notes can also be exchanged with the Bank of England.
The design of the note will also feature a quote and signature from Turing as well as a table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem” Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society.
Further features will be announced closer to the note’s release date.
Which other notes have been redesigned?
The £5 note was the first to be printed on polymer, entering circulation for the first time in 2016.
Winston Churchill was announced as the face of the new note in 2013, but this decision was not without controversy.
Some members of the public opposed the decision to use Winston Churchill on the note, given his role in the Bengali famine of 1943.
Vegetarians and vegans were also displeased when it was revealed that the new notes contain tallow, a product derived from animal waste products.
In spite of criticism, the production went ahead as planned, with the first £5 notes entering circulation in September 2016.
The new polymer £10 note followed just a year later in 2017. A portrait of English novelist, Jane Austen, was the face of the new £10.
It also features an illustration of Elizabeth Bennet, a character from Pride and Prejudice. Beneath this is Godmersham Park House, the estate owned by Jane Austen’s brother.
The quote featured on the note also comes from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and reads: 'I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!’
The redesigned polymer £20 entered circulation on 20 February, and features a portrait of English artist JMW Turner.