As banknotes continue their move to polymer, June 23rd saw the introduction of the new polymer £50 note.

The new note, featuring scientist Alan Turing, entered circulation, and will gradually become available through bank branches and cash machines.

The introduction of this new £50 note means the final day for using Bank of England paper £20 and £50 notes will be 30th September 2022.

From 1st October 2022 onwards, these old paper banknotes will no longer be legal tender, so people are encouraged to spend or deposit them ahead of this deadline.

The new polymer £50 note is heralded as the most secure to date, with its advanced security features.

It joins the Churchill £5 note, the Austen £10, and the Turner £20. As a result, all Bank of England banknotes are now available as polymer versions.

Read about when the new £20 note was introduced.

Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, launched the new £50 note at Bletchley Park, home to Turing’s famous code-breaking work. Bailey said:

“Our banknotes celebrate some of our country’s most important historical figures. That is why I am delighted that Alan Turing features on the new polymer £50 note.

“Having undertaken remarkable codebreaking work here at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, he went on to pioneer work on early computers, as well as making some ground-breaking discoveries in the field of developmental biology. He was also gay and was treated appallingly as a result. Placing him on this new banknote is a recognition of his contributions to our society, and a celebration of his remarkable life.”

Sarah John, Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, said:

“The polymer £50 note is the most secure Bank of England banknote yet, and the features of the note make it very difficult to counterfeit. All of our polymer banknotes can be checked by looking for two key security features: a hologram which changes image; and see-through windows. So if you can check one denomination of banknote, you can check them all.

“The new £50 notes, like the polymer £10 and £20 notes, contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination.”

Features on the new £50 note include a photo of Alan Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry.

The banknote also features a table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem.”

On the note is a quote from Turing, given during an interview to The Times newspaper in 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

See the quotation in the 1949 article here

The banknote also features Turing’s signature from the visitor book at Max Newman’s House in 1947, displayed at Bletchley Park.

There are two key security features on the banknote, which you can check to help confirm the note is genuine.

The first is a metallic hologram that changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.

The second security feature is a large see-through window with a gold and green foil on the front depicting a finely detailed metallic microchip image.