First plastic £5 note will celebrate a civil engineer

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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The first plastic banknotes in Great Britain will be introduced in Scotland next year and celebrate Sir William Arrol, who built the Forth Bridge.

Clydesdale Bank has beaten the Bank of England to the punch with plans to release two million of the £5 notes from March 2015 to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the opening of the rail bridge.

The BoE will release its polymer notes, which are said to be more durable than existing currency, featuring Sir Winston Churchill early in 2016.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael MP said: “As this new note becomes part of everyday life in villages, towns, cities and communities across the country, it will serve as a fitting tribute to the vision of Sir William Arrol and all the people who have contributed to the building, maintenance and restoration of the bridge in its 124-year history.”

Sara Thiam, Director of the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland, said: “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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