Published: 10:00, 13 September 2016
| Updated: 10:11, 13 September 2016
The new £5 note comes into circulation today featuring one of Kent’s most iconic figures.
The Bank of England has printed £440 million new fivers, which will be available from cash machines and bank counters across the UK from today.
The new fiver is the nation’s first polymer note, designed to last about 2.5 times longer than paper and able to survive a cycle in the washing machine.
Introducing the new £5 note. Video: Bank of England
New security measures will make it harder to counterfeit, including a see-through window and foil Elizabeth Tower, which is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.
The old paper notes will remain in circulation until May next year, when they will cease to be legal tender.
Kent has a strong place among the future of the nation’s currency.
Sir Winston Churchill, who lived at the Chartwell estate in Westerham, features on the back of the new £5 note.
The former Prime Minister and war leader was unveiled as the face of the new currency at his birthplace Blenheim Palace in June.
In April, Bank of England governor Mark Carney visited Margate to unveil the new £20, which will display artist JMW Turner when it comes into circulation by 2020.
The romanticist painter created many of his works in the town and the Turner Contemporary art gallery there is named after him.
Mr Carney said: “The new fiver commemorates one of the greatest statesmen of all time, Winston Churchill, who remarked that ‘a nation that forgets its past has no future’.
“Banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom’s collective memory, and we will be reminded of Churchill’s enormous contributions as he once again becomes part of our daily lives as the new fiver flows out into tills and pockets.”