The Royal Bank of Scotland has launched a new plastic fiver featuring a famous north-east poet.
The new polymer note featuring Peterculter-born writer Nan Shepherd will be available at the bank’s Aberdeen St Nicholas branch on 78 Union Street and its 29 Harbour Road branch in Inverness from today.
The £5 note is part of a new series of ‘Fabric of Nature’ themed bills coming into circulation this year and next featuring a variety of new security features that make the bills difficult to counterfeit but easy to authenticate.
The new fivers are 15% smaller and are estimated to last 2.5times longer than traditional notes made from cotton.
The choice of Ms Shepherd, a graduate of Aberdeen University, to feature on the £5 note was taken by RBS’s Scottish board.
The reverse of the note features two mackerel, in honour of the Scottish fishing industry’s most valuable catch, as well as an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean.
Behind the portrait sits a picture of the Cairngorms, often celebrated in Ms Shepherd’s writing, as well as a quote from her book ‘The Living Mountain’.
Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of bank’s Scottish board, said: “This is a historic moment in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s 300 year history.
“It is our first polymer note, a note fit for a modern age and one that will serve customers across Scotland for years to come.
“It is much more than a symbol of the bank, it is a representation of what is meaningful to the people of Scotland, designed in partnership with them.
“This is a note for Scotland.”
Erlend Clouston, Ms Shepherd’s literary executioner, said: “Nan would have been delighted and honoured to see her image and her work celebrated on the new note.
“Her work has become an important part of the Scottish literary canon and now people everywhere will carry her portrait and her words with them.”
The creation of the new notes involved a number of key Scottish arts organisations and designers including Graven Images, Nile, Stucco, Timrous Beasties, O’Street and the Glasgow School of Art.