The introduction of a new £1 coin this month is not amusing one Scarborough business.
The Royal Mint is putting the 12-sided replacement out this month ahead of the classic design becoming obsolete in October.
One sector that relies on cash transactions are the amusement arcades that are synonymous with Scarborough’s seafront.
Having just overhauled some of its machines to take the new polymer £5 note staff at Olympia Leisure are now making changes to more than 500 machines to ensure they can take the new £1 coin.
But it is not as simple as you would think, as senior engineer David Stockton explained.
“It has put us in a position where we have to gamble,” he said.
“Do we send the coin mechanisms away to be changed to take both new and the old coin knowing that we’d have to get the old function removed later this year, or do we take the risk that the new coin enters circulation and becomes readily available very quickly and just set up the mechanisms to only accept that?
“The problem being is that people with the old coin would not be able to use them at a time when they should be able to.
“We have around 500 machines that will need to be changed and it costs between £12 and £16 per machine, which all comes out of our pockets.”
A spokesman for Scarborough Borough Council said it is also reviewing changes to parking meters with the company which provides them.
He added:“We are preparing for the introduction of the new 12- sided pound coin and the phasing out of the current coin. The work involves liaising with all our suppliers of equipment and machines that currently accept the one pound coin to ensure that they will be able to accept the new-look coin from March 28.
“We are also asking how they plan to be ready for 15 October this year, which is the last day when the current coin will be legal tender. We are ensuring that any of our staff that have to handle cash as part of their job are trained in how to recognise the new coin, the timing of its introduction and the timescale for accepting the current coin.”
The new 12-sided £1 coin will be the most secure coin in the world. Its shape and composition make it very difficult to reproduce. The coin also boasts several new security features, including The Royal Mint’s specially developed High-Security Feature, hidden within the coin and detectable at high speeds in banks and cash centres.
The Royal Mint is producing the coins at a rate of three million each day. It also features a new design that shows the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from within a royal coronet.
It also has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when seen from different angles.