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New £20 design revealed

New £20 design revealed

The Bank of England has unveiled the design of the new polymer £20 note, which will be launched on 20 February next year.

Featuring the artist JMW Turner, the new note contains sophisticated security features designed to make it the most secure Bank of England banknote yet. For the first time, it incorporates two see-through windows and a two-colour foil to make it more difficult to counterfeit. There is also a metallic hologram, which changes between the word ‘Twenty’ and ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.



Special features

  • Large see-through window with a blue and gold foil on the front featuring Margate lighthouse and Turner Contemporary. The window is in the shape of the fountains at Trafalgar Square, London
  • Small see-through window in the bottom corner of the note: the shape is inspired by Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire
  • JMW Turner’s self-portrait, painted around 1799
  • Turner painting ‘The Fighting Temeraire’
  • A quote “Light is therefore colour” from a lecture by Turner in 1818 that refers to the use of light, shade, colour and tone in his pictures

The paper £20 will remain legal tender when the new note is introduced and gradually withdrawn as they are deposited in banks by retailers and the public. The Bank of England will give six months’ notice ahead of it being withdrawn.

The note will join the existing Churchill £5 and the Austen £10, with the Bank of England expecting to issue the new polymer £50 note featuring Alan Turing in 2021.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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