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Designs Released for New Polymer Banknotes

Last updated: 3.59pm, Tuesday 11th September 2018 by

The Royal Bank of Scotland have announced a final design for the new £5 polymer banknote to include the image of Scottish novelist and poet Nan Shepherd. This decision comes following the news that scientist Mary Somerville will feature on the Scottish £10 note.

The redesign of the banknotes are planned to coincide with the production of new notes made from polymer plastics in order to help them last longer and be less susceptible to counterfeiting.

The overall decision for who would be included on the new notes went to the RBS Scotland board and the choice has meant that Somerville and Shepherd will be the first women to ever be featured on Scottish banknotes. So who are these remarkable women?

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville was born in Jedburgh, Scotland in 1790. She is most well-known for her profession as a scientist and astronomer and played an instrumental role in discovering the planet Neptune. Hailed by The London Post as “The Queen of Nineteenth Century Science” on her death in 1872, she was also the first person to put her name to a petition to give women the right to vote.

Mary Somerville is said to have played a pivotal role in the advancement of women in academia by giving her name to a college of Oxford University which only allowed admittance to women.

Malcolm Buchanan of RBS Scotland said “Mary Somerville’s immense contribution to science and her determination to succeed against all the odds clearly resonate as much today as they did during her lifetime.”

Nan Shepherd

Nan Shepherd was born in Pelterculter, Aberdeen in 1893 and become a renowned novelist and poet making her a major contributor to early Scottish Modernist literature. Alongside this, she spent 40 years teaching teachers how to teach at Aberdeen College of Education. She then moved onto Aberdeen University after her retirement to edit the university review and later received an honorary doctorate for her work.

In recent years her novel The Living Mountain was republished in a special Canongate collection opening up her work to a whole new generation of readers.

One of her fellow writers, Robert Macfarlane said "It is thrilling to see Nan Shepherd celebrated and commemorated in this way. Nan was a blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature, and her influence lives on powerfully today."

The new £5 note will begin circulation later this year with the £10 note joining in 2017.

Here at Safes International, we have been helping businesses in Scotland and across the UK to become polymer ready. We provide a wide range of cash management solutions which are prepared for the new polymer notes. For more information contact our representatives.

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