By Maximilian Clarke

The Bank of England’s new ‘Boulton & Watt£50 banknote has today (Wednesday) entered circulation.

Boasting a host of new security features to deter fraud, the most highly valued banknote in circulation in the UK displays, for the first time, two portraits on its obverse.

“The Bank is delighted to acknowledge the invaluable contribution that Boulton and Watt made to the advancement of engineering by featuring them on the new £50 banknote,” said the Bank’s Governor, Mervyn King.

“Boulton and Watt’s steam engines and their many other innovations were essential factors in the nation’s Industrial Revolution. The partnership of an innovator and an entrepreneur created exactly the kind of commercial success that we will need in this country as we rebalance our economy over the years ahead.”

The existing £50 note, featuring the Bank's first Governor, Sir John Houblon, was first introduced in 1994 and will circulate in tandem until its gradual removal in due course. The number of existing £50 notes in circulation amounts to some £9.9 billion.

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