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Tower Bridge, one of the world's most recognisable landmarks, has been transformed with a new world-class lighting system in time to mark the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The new state-of-the-art, energy efficient lighting system will have its first official switch on this evening and then will gleam white this weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tower Bridge will be firmly in the global spotlight this summer and - thanks to an innovative funding deal reached between Mayor of London Boris Johnson, bridge-owners the City of London Corporation, and London 2012 sponsors EDF and GE - an LED-lighting and cabling system has now been fully installed at no cost to taxpayers.

The new lights brighten up the bridge, enhance its architectural features and replace static lights with bulbs that can vary in intensity and colour, while at the same time cutting energy consumption considerably.

The new lights will take centre stage for during the 2012 Games when Tower Bridge will be fitted with its giant Olympic Rings and Paralympic Agitos for the 45 days of the Games.  Passers-by will see the new system being tested over coming weeks ready for spectacular one-off lighting displays during key moments of the Games.

Londoners will enjoy benefits from the deal long after the Games, as the new lighting system will be in place for 25 years. In total 1,800 special energy-efficient LED lights have been fitted, along with 2,000 meters of energy-efficient LED linear lights, 5,000 meters of cable and 1,000 junction boxes. Final planning permission for the project was granted in November 2011 and work began immediately to install the new system.

Tower Bridge, already the world’s most recognisable capital landmark now has a world-class lighting system to suit its status.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Tower Bridge is already a global and this much-loved landmark is now even more spectacular thanks to a world-class illumination system.

“As London gears up for a summer like no other, this fantastic lighting makeover is another example of how the capital is benefiting from the Games. Tower Bridge can now play a starring role in our celebrations, starting off this weekend by being bathed in a stately white light for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

“What’s more, thanks to the commitment and generosity of all the partners, including the City of London Corporation, EDF Energy and GE, this is a lasting legacy for decades to come, achieved with zero price-tag for the taxpayer.”

Mark Boleat, the Chairman of Policy & Resources for bridge-owners the City of London Corporation, said: “The new lights will give Tower Bridge an elegant night-time look for the next 25 years, with the capability of creating firework-like displays on occasions of importance for London and the nation.”

Phil Marshall, President and CEO, GE Lighting EMEA said: “We are incredibly proud to have been involved with the lighting scheme at Tower Bridge. The combination of architectural and floodlight LEDs were specified to help reduce the energy used to light the bridge by up to 40 % compared with the previous system. As a London 2012 Sustainability Partner and London 2012 sponsor, GE is excited to have successfully contributed to the future of Tower Bridge and to London’s sustainability commitments. Furthermore, during London 2012 as part of the overall celebrations, there will be an evening light display every evening at on the Bridge, ensuring those in the city can fully enjoy the new lighting scheme and see Tower Bridge as they never have before."

Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, said: “As an official partner and the official electricity supplier of the London 2012 Games, it has been a delight to work with the GLA and GE to give Tower Bridge a dramatic makeover.  We are proud to be able to help show off London’s most famous bridge over the Diamond Jubilee weekend and throughout the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“EDF Energy powers some of London’s most iconic landmarks with low-carbon electricity, including Tower Bridge.  Thanks to its new state-of-the-art lighting, Tower Bridge has further reduced its carbon footprint to become a standout symbol of sustainability, encouraging visitors and residents to live a lower carbon lifestyle.”

ENDS

NOTES

1. Photographs of the new lighting system are available ftp://ftp.simonkennedy.net/
Username: tower_media
Password: tower_media01

2. Tower Bridge, as one of the five City bridges, is provided and maintained at no cost to the taxpayer by the City of London Corporation’s Bridge House Estates charity fund. This ancient fund was set up from tolls collected on the first London Bridge. In addition to maintaining the bridges, its City Bridge Trust grant-giving arm makes grants of ₤15m a year to charitable projects benefiting Londoners. The City of London Corporation is the elected body which looks after the Square Mile business and financial district. As part of this role it supports the UK-based financial services industry, provides local authority services and policing for the Square Mile, and a number of special services and facilities for wider London and the wider UK, including the Barbican arts centre, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and the Port Health Authority. See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for full details.

3. The EDF Group, one of the leaders in the energy market in Europe, is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading. The Group is the leading electricity producer in Europe and has around 170,000 employees. EDF is the official energy utilities partner and sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. EDF Energy is part of EDF Group and employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK. It is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear, coal and gas power stations and wind farms. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customers and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in the UK. Through “Our Sustainability Commitments”, EDF Energy has launched one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company. The company is helping its customers and others use energy more sustainably through products and initiatives such as Team Green Britain, smart meters and electric vehicle research.

4.  GE and the Olympics

GE is the exclusive provider of a wide range of innovative products and services that are integral to staging a successful Olympic Games. GE works closely with host countries, cities and organizing committees to provide infrastructure solutions for Olympic venues including power, lighting, water treatment and transportation. GE also supplies local hospitals with diagnostic imaging equipment and healthcare IT solutions like ultrasound, MRI and electronic medical record technologies to help doctors treat athletes. For more information, visit www.ge.com/olympicgames.

GE in the UK

GE has been operating in the UK since the 1930s and works on things that matter. The best people taking on the toughest challenges. Today our 18,000 UK employees work across 60 major locations, including 25 world-class manufacturing and R&D facilities, finding solutions in energy, oil & gas, healthcare, aerospace and financial industries. Our business is about building, powering. moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit www.ge.com/uk.

GE Lighting

GE Lighting invents with the vigour of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs over 17,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal and Energy Smart consumer brands, and Evolve, GTx, Immersion, Infusion, Lumination and Tetra commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com/eu

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