Cut-off date set to spend old £10 notes

10 pound polymer note Jane Austen

Old £10 note to disappear next year

However the Bank of England made the decision to keep the notes in circulation.

You have until March to spend your old £10 notes before they stop being accepted as legal tender.

They have been in circulation since 7 November 2000 and feature a portrait of Charles Darwin.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said about the notes: "The new £10 will be printed on polymer, making it safer, stronger and cleaner".

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From that date on, only the new, polymer £10 notes featuring Jane Austen will be legal tender.

Around 55 per cent of £10 notes now in circulation are the polymer version, while the remaining 359 million are paper "old style" notes.

This means shops will no longer be able to accept the old notes after 1 March, but it doesn't mean they are worthless.

The transition to polymer has sparked controversy after the Bank confirmed that an "extremely small amount" of tallow, or animal fat, was used to produce polymer pellets, which were part of the production process for creating the notes.

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Paper bank notes - £5, £10 and £20 - are slowly being replaced by plastic notes, which are more secure and harder to counterfeit, more resistant to dirt and more durable.

"The note will also include a new tactile feature on the £10 to help the visually impaired, ensuring the nation's money is as inclusive as possible".

Old pound coins can no longer be spent, but can be donated to charity or deposited into customer bank accounts.

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