Victoria Cleland, chief cashier at the Bank of England, has officially opened Innovia’s new Clarity C bubble line at its Wigton site in the UK.
The new line is part of an overall investment program totalling more than 40 million GBP (60 million USD), and which includes the build of a completely new Innovia Security opacification plant on land adjacent to the Innovia Films BOPP facility. This will enable the Guardian substrate to be produced at the same location as the manufacture of Clarity C, the base film used to make Guardian. Guardian is said to be the world's most sophisticated banknote substrate which is currently issued on 78 denominations in 24 countries worldwide.
The new Clarity C line has increased security controls to ensure that only those with official clearance have access to the restricted areas.
Cleland was given a tour of the new production facility accompanied by Mark Robertshaw, Innovia Group CEO, and Joe Piccione and Bernhard Imbach, managing directors of Innovia Films and Innovia Security respectively. During the visit she met some of the BOPP management team who were involved in the 18-month bubble construction program.
After the tour, Cleland unveiled a commemorative plaque in the atrium of OPP 2, the building that houses the new line.
‘Next year, the Bank of England will launch a new £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill that will be printed on polymer film,’ she said. ‘In 2017, a £10 note will follow featuring Jane Austen.
‘It is exciting today to visit the site which – over the next five years – will produce the polymer for nearly two billion banknotes and to learn about the positive impact this will have on the local economy.’
‘We are truly delighted that our unique film manufactured here in Wigton will be used for the Bank of England’s new £5 and £10 banknotes,’ said Robertshaw. ‘The first banknote to be issued is the £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill in 2016.’
‘The opening of the new line, Bubble 8, is a key milestone in delivering our evolutionary polymer banknotes and ensuring that our banknotes remain fit for purpose and provide strong counterfeit resilience,’ added Cleland.