BUSINESSES across Northwich are stepping up their efforts to clamp down on the use of fake £20 notes doing the rounds in the town.

There have been reports of counterfeit notes being used to pay for goods at a host of businesses across town.

The notes have been so convincing, with one business only realising they weren't the real deal after they lost colour once sanitised.

In an attempt to counter the illegal tender, Northwich BID and Northwich Against Business Crime have jointly-funded the purchase of Ultra-violet (UV) scanners, which can easily identify the fakes.

Northwich Guardian: Fake £20 notes being used in Northwich - one circled is a fake that lost colour after being sanitisedFake £20 notes being used in Northwich - one circled is a fake that lost colour after being sanitised

Adam Gerrard, project manager of the BID said: "We were approached by a business last week to say they'd had a dodgy £20 note.

"They asked me to share it around so other businesses in the town were aware.

"We'd literally bought these UV scanners in a part-funded scheme a couple of weeks ago.

"They are a great way of identifying the fake notes.

"Although the one taken at one business had lost its colour after being sanitised, it very much had the feel of a genuine note.

"Once we offered the scanners to businesses, we had plenty of interest straight away."

Northwich Guardian: A genuine £20 note under one of the UV scanners in NorthwichA genuine £20 note under one of the UV scanners in Northwich

Emily Jennerway, business crime manager, said the scanners were an important tool in tackling the problem.

"Some of the bigger businesses in town will already have a scanner in place.

"But the smaller independents don't, with cash almost becoming a secondary form of paying for some people.

"So they might not necessarily know what to look for.

"These scanners are a simple way of checking if a note is real or not.

"But it's also important to look out for the different markings on the notes that make them unique."

The Bank of England introduced the £20 note on February 20, 2020.

Featuring the artist JMW Turner, the notes have several security features, including a hologram image change.

If tilted from side to side, the words will change between 'Twenty' and 'Pounds'.

Other unique features that make the note difficult to counterfeit include the fact it is printer on polymer, which is a thin and flexible plastic material. 

And using the UV scanners, the number '20' appears in bright red and green on the front of the note, against a duller background.

If you're a business based in the town centre you can contact Northwich BID for one of the scanners via e-mail: