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Forth Bridge and its engineer to appear on first British polymer bank note

Clydesdale Bank has revealed its design for the first fully polymer banknote to enter circulation in Great Britain, which will also commemorate the nomination of the Forth Bridge for inclusion in Unesco’s World Heritage List in 2014.

The new limited run £5 banknote features images of the bridge to also mark 125 years since its opening. Some 2M of the notes will be issued in March 2015.

The note is smaller than the existing currency and has been designed by De La Rue plc and in a first for Europe, has been manufactured on its innovative Safeguard polymer substrate, which will create greater durablity.

The commemorative banknote, in keeping with the Bank’s award winning World Heritage Series, also features the image of one of Scotland’s most celebrated engineers, Sir William Arrol, whose company built the Forth Bridge along with other famous structures including the giant cantilever Titan Crane in Clydebank. This structure also appears on the new note.

ICE Scotland director Sara Thiam welcomed the announcement: “Sir William Arrol is one of Scotland’s most prolific civil engineers. Brought up in the Glasgow area, he developed methods of working and techniques which are still used today and is responsible for three of the world’s most iconic bridges - the Forth Rail Bridge, the Tay Rail Bridge and London’s iconic Tower Bridge. His legacy is littered with engineering ‘firsts’ so it is fitting that he is to feature on this celebratory first plastic banknote and underlines the vital contribution of civil engineers to society, past and present.”


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