Norwich architect George Skipper nominated to be face of £20 note

George Skipper

George Skipper - Credit: Archant

The man who designed much of Norwich's most beautiful architecture could be the face of the next £20 note.

Norwich Union building on Surrey Street, Norwich. Marble Hall / Surrey House.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY

Norwich Union building on Surrey Street, Norwich. Marble Hall / Surrey House.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:EDP property© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2008 (01603 772434) - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

George Skipper was the mastermind behind the Victorian elegance of the Royal Arcade, the marble splendour of Aviva's historic home, Surrey House, and the ornately-crafted Jarrold department store. The Dereham-born architect was described by poet John Betjeman as being to Norwich as Gaudi was to Barcelona, and designed buildings across Norfolk – including Cromer's Grand Hotel.

He was nominated to appear on the next £20 note by Steph Makins, who runs the independent website www.enjoynorwich.com, and she was delighted to hear that he has made the Bank of England's longlist.

The 592 eligible visual artists will be whittled down to a shortlist of three to five people. The Governor of the Bank of England will announce the final choice next spring and the new £20 note will enter circulation by 2020. 'I thought 'wouldn't it be fantastic if we could nominate someone local',' said Ms Makins. 'Obviously we're passionate about Norwich and Norfolk, and when I saw he was on the list I was so excited. He's responsible for so many striking buildings.'

Mr Skipper lived from 1856 to 1948.

Norwich Union building on Surrey Street, Norwich. Marble Hall / Surrey House.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY

Norwich Union building on Surrey Street, Norwich. Marble Hall / Surrey House.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:EDP property© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2008 (01603 772434) - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC


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Norwich philanthropist Elizabeth Fry has been depicted on a £5 note and nurse Edith Cavell featured on a commemorative coin.

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