The new 12-sided £1 coin, which will enter circulation in March this year, is expected to cost Lincolnshire businesses thousands of pounds in machinery upgrades.
Dubbed as ‘the most the most secure coin in the world’, the new pound coin will replace the current coin completely by October 16.
Businesses and councils across the county have had to start preparations to get ready for the launch including needing to change the coin handling mechanisms in everything from fruit machines, pool table and arcade machines to shopping trollies, car parking tickets and vending machines and even lockers.
Arcade businesses in Skegness have confirmed that the change will cost them around £10,000 to upgrade around 300 machines. Some of which can be done in house, but others need to be sent of to a specialist.
Changes have already been made to some machines to recognise the new £5 note and later this year the new £10 note will also cause another adjustment period.
However, despite this being a decision by the government, no support is being provided to help businesses to make the compulsory changes.
Councils are also being impacted by the requirement to replace pay and display car parking machines.
Parking machine overhaul
When asked by Lincolnshire Business, district councils across the county confirmed that it has cost them thousands of pounds.
North Kesteven District Council have paid £2,500 for 13 machines, where as East Lindsey have had to change 75 machines at a cost of around £5,000.
City of Lincoln Council has also been hit with a £5,000 bill for 56 machines across all its car parks, where as South Kesteven District Council are still currently working out the total cost.
It has been estimated that the cost of changing games and vending machines, lockers, shopping trollies and other items that accept coins would be between £15 – £20 million across the country.
There are also additional hidden costs including staff training on the new features of the coin to make sure they understand the differences and how to tell a genuine coin.
For a limited time, both the new and old coins will be in circulation, however from October 16, the current pound coin will no longer be accepted and any left in circulation will need to be returned to the bank to be replaced.
From this point the round pound coin will no longer be classed as legal tender and all coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new pound coin only.