The new polymer plastic £5 bank note has officially entered circulation today (Tuesday 13 September).

The new smaller £5 note is more durable than its predecessor and has advanced security features that make it more difficult to counterfeit.

The notes, which feature Sir Winston Churchill, are only initially available in selected banks and cash points, ahead of a full roll-out in the coming weeks.

ATMs in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Cardiff are among the first to stock the new notes.

Retailers are being reminded of the multiple security features on the note to be checked in case of fraudulence.

These include checking the see-through window and ultra-violet features on the note, making sure the Elizabeth Tower is gold on the front and silver on the back, the foil patch changes from ‘five’ to ‘pounds’ and the coronation crown appears in 3D.

Victoria Cleland, chief cashier of the Bank of England, said: “The regional roadshows have been a fantastic way to share the new note with the public and retailers. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have been struck by their enthusiasm to start using the notes.”

“The Bank has been working with the cash industry throughout this important and exciting project and we’re grateful for their efforts in making the introduction of The New Fiver a success. We will continue to work with them throughout the transition and are looking forward to the introduction of the Jane Austen £10 note next summer.”

The old £5 note will continue to be valid until 5 May 5 2017. A new £10 note will be released next year, while a new £20 will enter circulation by 2020.