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London's iconic Tower Bridge gets greenlight for eco-makeover

10th November 2011
London's iconic Tower Bridge has been granted final approval to undergo an eco-makeover in time for next year's Olympic Games with the installation of a new energy-efficient lighting system.
A plan to replace the 25-year-old lighting system on the world-famous landmark has been granted final planning and listed building consent.

With its gothic turrets, aerial walkway and suspension chains, the bridge is one of London’s most instantly recognisable landmarks. Now, following an innovative funding deal reached between the Mayor of London, City of London Corporation, and London 2012 sponsors EDF and GE, a state-of-the-art LED lighting and cabling system will be installed in time for next year's 2012 celebrations.

This project will help cut energy consumption from lighting the bridge by up to 40 per cent compared with current usage, while enhancing its world-renowned architectural features at night.

Replacing the current static lights with varying colours and intensity will enable it to play a vibrant role in special events, such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, New Year’s Eve and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The project has now received the backing of relevant planning authorities and a formal go-ahead from Southwark Council and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Permission from planners has also been granted for the 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 International station.

Work is expected to start on replacing the current outdated system imminently.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The spectacular view of Tower Bridge from my office in City Hall is one of my favourites in London, and it’s fantastic to now be able to crack on with this work to make it even better, brighter and greener and at no cost to the taxpayer.

"This city is going to be watched by the world next summer and this grand old lady of London, one of our best loved landmarks, is now set to play a sparkling role in the celebrations. But what’s more, this is another lasting legacy stemming from the Games which will benefit the city for decades."

EDF Energy, the UK subsidiary of EDF and the leading electricity supplier in London, will also be supplying electricity for Tower Bridge and will match every unit of electricity that is used by the landmark with power generated from low carbon sources.

Global lighting firm Citelum has been appointed to design the lighting and begin installation works. Citelum has a worldwide reputation for ambitious lighting projects on historic buildings including the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur and the Eiffel Tower.

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London's iconic Tower Bridge gets greenlight for eco-makeover
Tower Bridge is to get new state-of-the-art LED lighting in time for London 2012 (© Elzbieta Monika Szatkowska |
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