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

By EDF | Posted June 27, 2011

Plans to put Tower Bridge at the heart of 2012 celebrations have been revealed today (27 June) include the temporary installation of giant Olympic Rings and the Paralympic Agitos during the Games period.


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, 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.’



Notes to Editors:


Full details of the proposed project can be found, here:

Planning permission is being sought from Southwark council and Tower Hamlets Council.

This exciting investment into Tower Bridge to create a 25 year lighting legacy is set to be funded with no cost to the taxpayer following a deal between the Mayor, City of London and London 2012 Sustainability partners, GE and EDF. The funding package has been possible due to the unique opportunity for sponsorship recognition during the Games.

Currently Tower Bridge has traditional, static flood-lighting which can flatten the architecture. The use of energy efficient LED technology will reduce the energy consumption of the existing lighting system by an estimated 40 per cent on today’s usage. The City of London Corporation will contribute £400,000 towards the works from its ancient Bridge House Estate fund that pays for the five City bridges and the works will be done by lighting artists Citelum, whose global experience in working with historical iconic sites includes the Eiffel Tower, the Zheng Yang Men gate in Beijing and the Abbey of Jumièges in France.

Tower Bridge, as one of the five City bridges, is provided and maintained at no cost to the taxpayer by the Bridge House Estates. This ancient fund, whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation, 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 provides 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 for full details.

GE has been operating in the UK since the 1930s. Today its 18,000 employees serve the energy, oil & gas, healthcare, aerospace, financial and media industries. It has a strong and continuing commitment to the UK economy, having invested £13bn in its British businesses since 2001. GE’s 2009 UK revenues were £4bn. From its 60 major locations, including 25 world-class manufacturing and R&D facilities, GE delivers high-tech innovative solutions to the global marketplace. Locations include London, Aberdeen, Amersham, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Leicester, Nailsea and Southampton.

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. The Group generated consolidated sales of €65.2 billion in 2010, of which 44.5% outside France. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and is a member of the CAC 40 index. 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, as well as combined heat and power plants 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.