AROUND 2.5 million ‘Diversity Built Britain’ 50 pence coins will enter into circulation next week as a tribute to the contribution minority communities have made to the history of the UK.
The new 50p, designed by Dominique Evans, signals the intent of the Royal Mint and the chancellor to include a wider range of people on coins and notes in the future.
Rishi Sunak commissioned the coin earlier this year following discussion with the ‘We Too Built Britain’ campaign, which works for fair representation of minority communities’ contributions across all walks of life.
Sunak held a roundtable on Thursday(15) with designer Evans, Blondel Cluff CBE, ceo of the West India Committee, campaigners Zehra Zaidi, Professor Patrick Vernon, and deputy master of the Mint Anne Jessopp to mark the launch of the coin.
“I have seen first-hand the contribution made by ethnic minority communities to Britain’s history. That is why I backed the ‘We Too Built Britain’ campaign and requested that the Royal Mint introduced this coin to celebrate it,” said Sunak.
“This coin, and the rest of the series, will act as a fitting tribute to the very profound impact ethnic minority communities have made on Britain, and I am grateful to the Royal Mint for turning this around at record speed.”
British prime minister Boris Johnson said that the new coin echoes the government’s commitment to building a fairer society for all.
Alongside the release of the coins, the Royal Mint and the West India Committee will also issue education packs to primary schools in England and Wales, so children have the opportunity to learn about these achievements.
The government will consult with stakeholders including ‘We Too Built Britain’ and other groups representing minority communities on the themes of future coins in this series.
Dominique Evans, coin designer at The Royal Mint, said: “The background of the coin features a geodome with a series of interconnecting lines and triangles that form a network. Each part is equal, and symbolises a community of connection and strength. The words ‘Diversity Built Britain’ talks about the differences between us, and the connection which gives us unity”.
“Ethnic minority people, as well as all under-represented groups, need to see themselves represented in British institutions. It is a part of an invisible social contract and it can build cohesion, promote a sense of belonging, inspire young people and unite us as a nation, showing that we all have an equal stake in society,” said campaigner Zehra Zaidi,
“This coin helps bridge our nation’s past, its diverse present and its future, looking outward, positively, together”.