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New £10 Note Feature For Visually Impaired People Praised As 'Absolutely Fantastic'

It's got a brilliant new feature.

11/09/2017 15:36 | Updated 12 September 2017

Visually impaired people have praised the new £10 note for a special feature built in to help tell notes apart.

The new polymer tenner, which will be released on 14 September, features raised Braille-style bumps in the top left-hand corner.

It was developed in conjunction with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB).

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Jemma Brown, from Guide Dogs, tests the feature on the new £10 note

Ian Morris, who is partially-sighted, told HuffPost UK that he thought the new feature was “absolutely fantastic”.

He said: “It’s part of the evolution of what I’d call inclusive money, so a number of people who are sighted wouldn’t realise that the old paper notes - the five, 10 and 20, were three different lengths. So if you had a reference note, say you knew you definitely had a £10 note, then the fiver was slightly shorter and the twenty was slightly longer. But you basically had to stand there and line up edges and feel along the note.

“When the new £5 note came out then for me that was splendid. It was much smaller, very tactilely different. So it was very easy for you to organise your wallet in terms of ‘that’s a fiver and that’s not’. So I was very interested to see what the new £10 note felt like.”

PA Wire/PA Images
The raised dots can be seen in the top right hand side of the note here
PA Wire/PA Images
The £10 is the second polymer note to be brought into circulation

He added: “I travel a lot of with work and take my faithful guide dog with me. Euros aren’t too bad but when we find ourselves in the US, that is an absolute nightmare. All their notes are the same size, the same shape and the same colour. The ability to differentiate a $1 from a $100 note, you’ve really got to rely on technology to help you out there, which is doable but you can imagine if you’re stood at the till somewhere and with every note you’ve got to pass in front of the camera on your iPhone to tell you what note it is, the queue behind you tends to get very bored very quickly, So it’s a case of our money is much more accessible.

“From a visually-impaired person’s perspective, it’s that ability to independently organise yourself, which is what you’re looking of from these things.

“I think the Bank of England deserve a really big pat on the back for building this into the design of their new note.”

The new £10 note, which features author Jane Austen, also includes bold numerals, differing colours and tiered sizing to further help partially-sighted and blind people, according to Optometry Today.

PA Wire/PA Images
Bank of England governor Mark Carney poses with the new note

Wendy Rankin, Director of Mobility Services at Guide Dogs, said: “We think it’s great that the Bank of England has included a tactile feature on the new polymer £10 note, so people with sight loss can carry on using cash with confidence.

“As a charity, everything Guide Dogs does works towards a world where people who are blind or partially sighted are never left out of life.

“The guide dog owners who attended the new note’s unveiling in July all found that the tactile feature makes it easy for them to continue managing their own money, which is such an important part of independent living.

People are also being encouraged to donate the first new £10 to Guide Dogs to help fund their work with blind and partially-sighted people.

What other features will the new note have?

  • A see-through window featuring the Queen’s portrait.

  • A quill at the side of the window which changes from purple to orange.

  • A hologram which contains the word ‘Ten’ and changes to ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.

  • A hologram of the coronation crown which appears 3D and multi-coloured when the note is tilted.

  • A book-shaped copper foil patch which contains the letter JA.

  • Micro-lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait with tiny letters and numbers that are visible under a microscope.

  • The words ‘Bank of England’ printed in intaglio (raised ink) along the top of the note. 

Where can I get a new-style £10 note?

The Bank of England hasn’t specified where exactly the new notes will first appear but they will start to filter into circulation through ATMs, banks and businesses.

According to the Cambridge News, ATMs in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Cardiff were among the first to stock the new £5 notes, so those cities could be your best bet if you’re itching to get your hands on a new tenner.

Will this note also have traces of animal fat in it?

Yes, the production process is the same at the new polymer £5 note.

This means there is a trace of tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, sometimes used in the production items including soap and candles, in the polymer pellets used.

The inclusion of tallow left some who refuse to use anything with animal products in for moral or religious reasons angry.

What about the old-style £10 notes?

The old paper notes will be withdrawn from circulation in Spring 2018, although there is not yet a specific date for this.

Are there more polymer notes coming?

A new polymer £20 note featuring artist JW Turner will be released in 2020.

The Bank of England says it does not currently have plans for replacing the current £50 note, which features engineers Matthew Boulton and James Watt.

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