Who would you choose to be the new face of the £20 note?

Britons are being invited to have their say on who will be the face of the new �20 note.  Picture by Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Britons are being invited to have their say on who will be the face of the new �20 note. Picture by Philip Toscano/PA Wire

People are being invited to have their say on who will be the face of the new £20 as the Bank of England launched a consultation to find a historic British artist to feature on the note.

The Bank is asking the public to suggest who they believe should be recognised from the world of visual art – from painters and sculptors to fashion designers and photographers.

Jean Muir, who is buried at Whittingham.

Jean Muir, who is buried at Whittingham.

Nominations can only be made for historic visual artists and the Bank said it will not represent living characters on its banknotes.

Architects, ceramicists, print-makers and film-makers are also among visual artists who can be nominated.

Among the possible nominees to represent Northumberland on the new note could be fashion designer Jean Muir, whose celebrity clients included Joanna Lumley and Lauren Bacall.

Muir lived in London and Lorbottle Hall, near Whittingham. She died in 1995 at the age of 66 and is buried in St Bartholomew’s Church, Whittingham.

Victoria Cleland, chief cashier and director of notes, said: “Characters have been on our banknotes since 1970 and they provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate individuals from the past who have made significant contributions in a number of fields.

“The visual arts are clearly an area of outstanding British achievement and influence and I am very much looking forward over the next two months to meeting people across the UK to hear how they have been inspired by it.”

The field of visual arts was chosen by the Bank’s new banknote character advisory committee, which was announced in January and is chaired by deputy governor Ben Broadbent and comprises chief cashier Ms Cleland and independent experts Sir David Cannadine, Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey and Sandy Nairne.

Mr Carney also announced the appointment of three additional independent members to join the committee, with expertise in visual arts – English artist, writer, film director and screenwriter John Akomfrah, author and design columnist Alice Rawsthorn and art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon.

The committee will draw up a shortlist of characters from public nominations, with input from public focus groups, from which Mr Carney will make the final decision.

The Bank said it was not yet decided if the new £20 note will be printed on plastic, although the new £5 featuring Sir Winston Churchill will be made from polymer when it appears next year.

The new £10 note featuring Jane Austen will also be made from polymer rather than the cotton paper currently used.

The existing £20 note featuring Scottish economist Adam Smith was introduced in 2007.

Other historic characters depicted on previous notes include William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton and Florence Nightingale.

Nominate online at bankofengland.co.uk, nominations close on July 19.