June 18, 2015 – At an event at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 19 May 2015, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, announced that the next £20 note will celebrate Britain’s achievements in the visual arts and he launched a public nomination period to seek people’s views as to who should be recognised on the next £20 note.
Members of the public will have two months to nominate people of historic significance from the visual arts including artists, sculptors, printmakers, designers, craftspeople, ceramicists, architects, fashion designers, photographers and filmmakers – whose work shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society. The public can nominate characters from within the field of visual arts on the Bank’s website.
The public nomination programme is the first to be held under the Bank’s new character selection process which was put in place to ensure that the choice of characters for the Bank’s notes commanded broad respect and legitimacy. In line with principles announced in December 2013, the field of visual arts was chosen by a new Banknote Character Advisory Committee. The Committee is chaired by Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent and comprises Chief Cashier Victoria Cleland and independent experts Sir David Cannadine, Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey and Sandy Nairne.
In conjunction with the launch, the Governor has also announced the appointment of three further independent members to join the Committee, with expertise in the field of visual arts – John Akomfrah, Alice Rawsthorn, and Andrew Graham-Dixon who also spoke at the event. Following the two month nominations period, the full Committee, with input from public focus groups, will draw up a shortlist of characters from which the Governor will make the final choice. The selected character will be announced during spring 2016. The new £20 note will be introduced into circulation in 3-5 years.
The Bank will not represent living characters on its notes, with the exception of the Monarch. Banknotes are designed to be easy to authenticate and difficult to counterfeit and for this reason the Bank will choose only characters for which it is confident that it can include a recognisable and usable representation within a banknote design. The Bank will seek to avoid individuals who would be unduly divisive.
Nominations can be made until 19 July 2015. To nominate please click here.
More information on characters which appeared or will appear on British banknotes can be found on the Bank of England website.