RBS to issue new £10 note featuring astronomer Mary Somerville on October 4

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the date it will issue its first plastic £10 note.

It will be released to the public on Thursday October 4, and will be 15% smaller than those currently in circulation.

The note will feature Scottish mathematician and astronomer Mary Somerville as part of the bank's Fabric of Nature theme.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan, said: "At the Royal Bank of Scotland, we feel that a banknote's value is more than just the figure printed across its front - it is our symbol which lives in people's pockets and touches everyday lives.

"It has been 30 years since we produced a new £10 note and as the Royal Bank of Scotland, we wanted the public to help influence the design.

"They helped influence our theme of Fabric of Nature and helped us consider the impact Mary Somerville has had on our understanding of the world in which we live.

"It is fitting that our most advanced note yet will carry her portrait."

Behind Mary's portrait is an illustration of her hometown, Burntisland in Fife.

A moon diagram taken from her book, Mechanism Of The Heavens, appears when the note is viewed under UV light.

The material contains a variety of new security features, which the bank claims makes it "difficult to counterfeit but easy to authenticate".

On the other side of the note there are a pair of otters, most commonly seen in the UK in the west of Scotland.

Words from Scottish poet Norman MacCaig also feature.

For the first time, the bank will include braille on the note to help the visually impaired.

The face of the polymer £20 has also been revealed as philanthropist and entrepreneur Catherine Cranston.

Cranston, from Glasgow, made her name for her series of tearooms across the city.

Her flagship venue, The Willow Tearooms, became part of Scotland's design heritage due to an interior created by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The £20 note is expected to enter circulation in 2020.

Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of the Scottish board with the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: "As a bank we celebrate entrepreneurialism and creating opportunity, and Catherine Cranston embodies that spirit.

"Catherine will follow Nan Shepherd and Mary Somerville in gracing notes fit for a modern age and one that will serve customers across Scotland for years to come."