A set of bank notes featuring some of Scotland's most famous faces and places has been designed to tie in with the Year of Homecoming.

It is the first time in almost 20 years the Clydesdale Bank has launched a new series of notes, which will be in circulation by the end of this year.

The designs, featuring five famous Scots and the country's five world heritage sites, will also be the first in the UK to have a new "depth image" security hologram.

First Minister Alex Salmond joined David Thorburn, the bank's chief operating officer, to officially launch the notes at Edinburgh Castle this morning.

The Clydesdale Bank has been printing bank notes since 1838 and is the largest issuer in Scotland, with more than £1.1 billion in circulation in any given week.

Robert Burns is on the bank's current £5 note and to commemorate the Year of Homecoming - which marks the 250th anniversary of Burns' birth - the new £10 note features a new portrait of the poet.

The other Scots featured are bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming, best known for his discovery of penicillin, on the £5 note, Scots king Robert the Bruce on the £20 note, suffragette Elsie Inglis on the £50 note, while the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is on the £100 note.

The new notes will also have images of Scotland's five world heritage sites on their reverse. The £5 note has St Kilda and the £10 note features the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh. The £20 note uses an image of New Lanark, the £50 note has the Antoine Wall, and the £100 note has an illustration of Neolithic Orkney.

Mr Salmond said: "The Clydesdale Bank's commemorative notes are a wonderful contribution to the Homecoming celebrations.

"The new designs showcase our unrivalled landmarks and landscapes as well as the contributions of some of Scotland's greatest minds.

"Scotland has produced its own banknotes for over 300 years, marking the culture, heritage, tradition, resilience of Scotland, its people and our financial sector.

"Clydesdale Bank's launch of a new banknote family is an indication of its strength and commitment to Scotland in the current economic climate."

The Homecoming events, which aim to attract more visitors to Scotland, are a key part of Salmond's Government's economic recovery plan.

He added: "Of course I am delighted to see the iconic image of Burns has been presented in the most widely used £10 note in recognition of our national bard's 250th anniversary."

Mr Thorburn said: "Clydesdale Bank's new banknote family showcases the best of Scotland - its people and its heritage.

"We are the largest note issuer in Scotland and I am delighted that we are introducing such an innovative and striking set of notes during the Homecoming.

"I am particularly pleased that a new portrait of Robert Burns will feature on one of our most popular notes."

While the new banknotes will be introduced in late autumn, the current notes will remain in circulation for a number of years.