New Fiver Launched - SmartWater® consulted in its development


The new £5 note entered into circulation on 13 September 2016, is the first note issued in England to be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic, and will feature the image of Sir Winston Churchill, with the old paper £5 notes remaining as legal tender until May 2017.

You will have seen all the coverage in the press and on the news as to the benefits this new note will bring - some of the facts are listed below. But did you know that SmartWater technical staff have been in consultation with the Bank of England Theft Deterrent Working Group, together with others across the industry over the last two years?

Mark Baker, Project Lead stated “We'd like to thank you all for your support on the polymer project over the last few years. It really has been a collaborative effort between the Bank and industry to achieve the issuance of the note this morning. We hope the rollout goes smoothly for everyone.”


Some Facts about the new £5 note:-

They will stay nice and clean - the impermeable and non-fibrous nature of polymer means it repels dirt and moisture.

They may stick together - but the effect is short-lived once in use.

They are smaller than the old £5 note but will remain slightly larger than euro notes, and they will be fatter and shorter than US dollars.

They can melt - at 120oC they shrink and melt - so don’t iron them!

They are difficult to destroy - by burning or tearing, but if they get a small nick then they will tear easily.

You can fold them but they will bounce back to shape easily.

They will work in vending and ATM machines.

They will last for about 5 years - that’s about 2.5 times the old £5 note.

Scotland will follow suit later in the year, whilst Northern Ireland have no plans to switch currently, but the new notes are acceptable there.

« Back

Newsletter Sign Up Got a question?


  • Beaver Brooks
  • Welsh Water
  • Thames Water
  • Southern Water
  • Network Rail
  • Ecclesiastical
  • Open Reach
  • G4S
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Boodles
  • Thomson
  • Waitrose
  • Jewson
Quick Enquiry
Quick Enquiry