Pioneering Bournemouth born architect Elisabeth Scott is one of only two women celebrated in the new British passport.

The iconic Pier Theatre which she designed in 1950’s appears alongside pictures of tube trains, bag pipes and the Angel of the North.

The new 34-page passport's theme is ''Creative United Kingdom'', which official literature said features ''some of the best achievements of the last 500 years in Great Britain and Northern Ireland''.

Architect Elisabeth Scott also designed the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and features in the new passport along with mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace.

She was the first female architect to design a public building after winning a competition, and recieved a great deal of press attention because of her gender. She was  also behind Marie Curie's first radiation hospital in Hampstead. 

But the theatre was not universally loved and by the time she joined Bournemouth council's team of architects in the 1950s - where she designed the Pier Theatre - very few people knew who she was.

Seven men including William Shakespeare, artist John Constable and sculptor Anish Kapoor are represented either in portraits or through their achievements.

Officials have defended their decision to include just two women in the passport.

Mark Thomson, director general of the Passport Office, said: ''It wasn't something where we said let's set out to only have two women.

''In trying to celebrate the UK's creativity we tried to get a range of locations and things around the country to celebrate our triumphs over the years, so there we are.''

Asked about the omission of female icons such as Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, he said: ''Whenever we do these things there is always someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book.

''We've got 16 pages, a very finite space. We like to feel we've got a good representative view celebrating some real icons of the UK- Shakespeare, Constable and of course Elisabeth Scott herself.''

Officials said the new passport was the most secure ever produced.

It includes a number of technology features have been introduced to limit the risk of tampering or forgery by fraudsters.

They include embedded security fibres which appear on every page and which, when exposed to UV light, fluoresce in a different light.

It also has a perforated version of the holder's passport number which causes the page to rip if tampered with, and enhanced holograms on the passport picture page.

One continuous sheet of paper has been used for the laminated personal details page so it is adjoined to the back cover, meaning any tampering would lead to irreparable damage that would be obvious to officials.

Security inks used to print the passport have also been upgraded. For example, a floral pattern is made in such a way that it will disappear when exposed to an infra-red light.

Other security features have been built in to the new passport but are kept secret.

Mr Thomson said: ''This is the most secure passport we have ever produced. Try forging this - it's going to be very, very difficult indeed.

''I think this is good enough to make someone just not bother. We think it's pretty damn good.''

A new passport is launched in the UK every five years, with work on the new design starting more than two years ago.

It has been produced as part of a 10-year £400 million contract.

Applicants for a standard 32-page passport pay £72.50. Mr Thomson said: ''There are no plans to change the price of a basic passport.''

The new document will be phased in from December 2015.

We'll have more on Elisabeth Scott and her extraordinary life in architecture tomorrow.