Bank of England extends polymer note contract until 2028

The Bank of England has extended a contract with banknote maker De La Rue to continue generating cash from the bank for three years beyond its original 10-year contract, the company has announced.

De La Rue began manufacturing the first polymer Central Bank notes in 2015, launching England’s first plastic £5 note a year later.

The contract was due to end in 2025 but a three-year extension clause was triggered, the bank said.

Former Bank of England Mark Carney introduced the new polymer £50 note, made by De La Rue, last year (Peter Byrne/PA)

Sarah John, Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, whose signature appears on each note, said: “The relationship with De La Rue is important to the Bank of England.

“During the current contract, we have worked closely together to launch three new models of polymer banknotes.

“In 2021, the release of Alan Turing’s new £50 note will complement our polymer set.

“We are very pleased to announce today the extension of the contract, which will allow us to continue to develop our Debden plant as a global center of excellence for banknote printing.”

It remains unclear how many tickets will be needed in the longer term, with the coronavirus pandemic driving a huge shift towards a cashless society.

But De La Rue has previously said the notes are cleaner and less likely to transmit viruses compared to traditional paper notes.

Clive Vacher, Managing Director of De La Rue, said: “We are delighted that our contract with the Bank of England has been extended until 2028, underlining De La Rue’s commitment to manufacturing in the UK.

Relations between the company and the UK government were strained in 2018 when it lost the new post-Brexit passport deal.

Bosses threatened to take legal action over the decision, but it was later dropped and the company sold its passport division.

A Serious Fraud Office (SFO) also loomed over the company with allegations of fraud in its operations in South Sudan, although this was dropped after investigators said the evidence did “not meet the relevant test for prosecution”.

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