Plans unveiled to put Tower Bridge at the heart of London’s 2012 celebrations

Plans unveiled to put Tower Bridge at the heart of London’s 2012 celebrations

The news comes following a deal announced recently by the Mayor of London between City Hall, City of London Corporation and London 2012 Sustainability partners, EDF and GE to install a state-of-the-art energy-efficient lighting system on Tower Bridge. As well as helping to cut carbon and reduce energy costs, the project will enhance this global icon’s architectural features at night. It will provide a permanent lighting legacy for one of London’s most loved icons, but also enable Tower Bridge – which is owned by the City’s Bridge House Estates - to play a unique and starring role when the curtain rises next year on the city’s once-in-a-lifetime Olympic and Paralympic celebrations.
Details contained in planning documents submitted today show proposals for Tower Bridge to feature Olympic rings and Paralympic Agitos during the 45 days of the Games, in a similar way to those already installed at St Pancras station. The new flexible lighting system would able enable beautiful evening lighting displays during Games time, for example, the use of gold, silver and bronze lighting effects to mark sporting medal successes.
The project is now seeking to obtain the necessary planning consents and work could start by September and be completed by spring 2012, in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is also hoped the new look will be ready in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘I want London to sparkle with special moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and thanks to this funding deal, Tower Bridge is set to play a starring role in these once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. The Games are also a unique opportunity for London to secure its position for another generation as the best big city in the world and these plans will secure a fantastic legacy for one of the capital’s best loved landmarks.’
Stuart Fraser, Policy Chairman of the City of London bridge owner, said: ‘Tower Bridge needs new lighting and this proposal - made possible through appropriate sponsorship recognition for Olympic partners EDF and GE during the Games - will help improve London’s global image – not just in 2012 – but for the next 25 years.’
Mark Elborne, President and CEO of GE in the UK said: ‘As a sponsor and sustainability partner for London 2012, we are delighted about the prospect of being involved in this project to apply our lighting technology to create a sustainable and flexible legacy for Tower Bridge.’
EDF Energy, the leading electricity supplier in London, will also become the lighting electricity supplier for Tower Bridge and will match every unit of electricity that it supplies to Tower Bridge with power generated from low carbon sources.
Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive at EDF Energy, said: ‘As the first sustainability partner of London 2012, we are delighted to help reduce the carbon footprint of an iconic London landmark ahead of the Games. EDF Energy is aiming to use its involvement with the Olympic and Paralympic Games to help people think about the ways they use energy. We hope that the new energy efficient lighting, combined with the temporary installation of the Olympic Rings and Paralympic Agitos, will make Tower Bridge a standout symbol of sustainability, encouraging visitors and residents to live a lower carbon lifestyle.’