Brits have just weeks left to spend the 160 million paper £5 notes that are still in circulation before they lose their legal tender status next month.

As of May 5, the plastic version will be the only one accepted in shops, reports our sister paper The Mirror.

This week, the Bank of England has told retailers to stop handing them out the paper version in change in preparation.

"Some retailers, banks and building societies may choose to accept paper £5 notes after the

withdrawal date. However this is at the discretion of the individual institution," the Bank of England said on Tuesday.

But there is a way to still get your money's worth after that date.

Can you still spend paper £5 notes after 5 May 2017?

Maybe. In theory vending machines won't take the and shops refuse them - but they don't have to say no. It's up to them.

High street banks can also refuse to exchange notes after the cut-off.

The one place that will always let you swap them

There's one way to guarantee to get your old £5 note swapped – head to the Bank of England itself.

That phrase "I promise to pay the bearer on demand" is something that doesn't have a time limit on it, the Bank told Mirror Money.

The Bank of England's head office in London's note exchange desk lets anyone with an out of date note swap it for a current one – meaning anyone with a fiver can head there and swap their paper fivers for polymer ones.

Could your new £1 coin be worth hundreds of pounds?

In fact, even if a note's ripped, smashed or otherwise vandalised, as long as there's enough left to identify what it was, they will swap it for a new one.

To exchange your banknotes in person you can take them to the following address:

Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London
EC2R 8AH

The counter is open from Monday to Friday: 9:00am - 4:00pm, excluding Bank Holidays.

You can also exchange them by posting them to the Bank.

What will happen to the paper £5 notes that are withdrawn?

The old fivers will be recycled using a composting treatment.