The Bank of England will issue the new £10 polymer note as planned.

Fury had erupted among animal rights activists after it was revealed the £5 notes – which feature a portrait of Winston Churchill – were made using a small amount of tallow.

However, after considering other options, the central bank confirmed that it will keep the notes in circulation, and not delay the issue of the new £10 note.

When will the new £10 note begin circulation?

Production of the new £10 note began last August, with hundreds of millions of the notes already printed.

According to the Bank of England, the polymer currency will be released into circulation on Thursday. 

Who and what will appear on the new £10 note?

The new plastic note will feature author Jane Austen, which was confirmed at a press conference in 2013 by Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney.

He said: “Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes.

“Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature.

“As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and in future, Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed in a wide range of fields.”

Features of the new £10 note include:

The quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).

A portrait of Jane Austen commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.

An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking “The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her”– from a drawing by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988).

Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.

Will the new £10 note contain animal fat?

As it is made using the same materials as the polymer £5 note, the new tenner will again contain small amounts of tallow: rendered beef and mutton fat.

The Bank of England said it had considered destroying, reprinting and delaying the issue of the new note in response to the backlash from vegetarians and vegans.

However, it said that doing so would compromise anti-counterfeit measures and would prove expensive.

In November the Bank admitted the polymer pellets used to make new fivers used an "extremely small amount" of the substance, leading to 134,000 people signing a petition against their use.

However, a supply contract has yet to be signed for the manufacture of new £20 polymer notes – set to be released in 2020 – as the Bank weighs up plant-based substitutes.

What is tallow?

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Tallow is a hard, fatty substance made from rendered animal fat.

Is is commonly used to make soap and candles.

The new polymer note uses beef tallow made from suet, which is hard fat found around the animal's kidneys, stomach and other organs.

Why has it upset people?

Radha Mohan das said on behalf of Bhaktivedanta Manor in Radlett: "We are both shocked and saddened to receive news that the Bank of England have already printed ten pound notes containing tallow. As a temple community our ethos is nonviolence.

"As such we stopped accepting the new five pound notes which in turn impacted the donations we depend on. Now with news of the ten pound note we will have to review our stance on banning tallow notes. We now find ourselves having to choose between compromising our core religious principles and spiritual values or suffering significant financial losses.

"We fail to see how in this day and age a public service provider could allow this to not only continue but to become significantly more harmful.    

"We do welcome the bank's planned consultation and understand that the costs of correcting the oversight are deemed unacceptable. Currency must be acceptable to all, therefore there is no question, it must be free from animal products."