Press release: Business Disability Forum and the Bank of England discuss the launch of new accessible £10 note

12 September 2017

Business Disability Forum hosted the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Victoria Cleland for a podcast released today (12 September) to mark the launch of the new polymer £10 note on 14 September, the first UK banknote designed to be accessible for people with visual impairments.

In this podcast, Victoria Cleland talks to Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive of Business Disability Forum, about how accessibility was made a key feature of the new banknote. Victoria also talks about how she worked along with the Bank to talk to users and find out what they needed from the new £10 note.

The Bank of England worked with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to build accessibility into the design of the new polymer note.  This approach is similar to Business Disability Forum’s methodology on accessible design, which is design, user testing and review. 

The note has a new tactile feature, with two clusters of raised dots at the top left corner of the note to allow blind or partially sighted people to identify the value of the note easily.

The Bank of England will also include these features on the new polymer £20, due to be released in 2020.

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum, said:

“I was delighted to hear direct from Victoria what the Bank of England has done to make the new £10 note the most accessible bank note ever to be produced in the UK."

“This is a great example of integrating accessible features at the beginning of the development process."

“An inclusive design approach is crucial. Our member Network Rail cites as a figure that it costs 10,000 times more to retrofit an accessible feature to a product or service than to build it in right at the beginning.”

"The new £10 note is a major step forward in ensuring a fully accessible society for disabled customers and we very much welcome the Bank’s deep commitment to getting it right.”

Victoria Cleland, Director for Bank notes and Chief Cashier, Bank of England said:

“The new £10 polymer note featuring Jane Austen will enter circulation on 14 September, bringing the benefits of cleaner, safer, stronger notes.  The innovative tactile feature has been included to help blind and partially sighted users.  It is our most accessible note ever and a great example of how the Bank endeavours to support accessibility not just for our staff, but also for the people of the UK.” 

The podcast is available on Business Disability Forum’s website.


Notes to Editors

1.     Business Disability Forum represents around 300 organisations that employ 15% of the UK workforce. We have more than twenty-five years’ experience of equipping people with the expertise to create confident organisations by improving the understanding of disability in business, removing barriers and making adjustments for individuals.

2.     For more information, contact Samuel Buckley, Press Officer, by phone on 020 7403 3020 or by emailing

3.     Link to Photos