21 Apr 11

World famous Tower Bridge set for lighting makeover in time for 2012 celebrations

London 2012 Sustainability partners, EDF and GE agree equipment & funding package in private-public finance deal with Mayor Boris Johnson and the City of London Corporation Energy efficient, GE LED lights will enhance historic landmark in 25-year legacy at no cost to taxpayer.

The Mayor of London has announced a deal between City Hall, City of London Corporation, 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.

Tower Bridge is one of the world's most instantly recognisable landmarks and has recently undergone major re-painting. A funding deal has now been brokered by the Mayor Boris Johnson, between the bridge owners, City of London Corporation, London 2012 Sustainability partners EDF and GE to upgrade the famous structure's 25-year old lighting system.

If given planning permission, this will deliver LEDs and flexible lighting and a new cabling system to complement the bridge's features - such as its gothic turrets, central aerial walkway and suspension chains - in colours sensitive to its listed building status. The lighting system will be flexible, allowing for both varying colours and intensity of light, enabling Tower Bridge to respond to special events in a unique and spectacular manner.

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 project must now obtain the necessary planning permissions but if successful, work could start by September and be completed by spring 2012, in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Commercial agreements have now been signed between all relevant parties and a detailed planning application is being drawn-up.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'I want London to look its very best in 2012 as the eyes of the world are upon us. Tower Bridge is one of this city's most stunning landmarks, recognised the world over and therefore deserving of a star role in these year-long celebrations. I am thrilled to have brokered this deal - at no cost to the taxpayer - to bathe Tower Bridge in eco-friendly light to create a fresh perspective of this wonderful icon. This is another great legacy for London stretching for decades beyond the Olympic year.'

In the first step of this exciting project, global lighting experts Citelum has been appointed to design and subject to planning approvals, 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.

Stuart Fraser, chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London, said: 'The founders of the ancient Bridge House Estates charity that pays for the five City bridges would be amazed to see how the world has changed since 1097. But I am sure they would want London to be as smart as possible for next year and this partnership achieves that at no cost to taxpayers, a fact that will surely double everyone's pleasure at Tower Bridge's elegant new look.'

EDF Energy, the UK subsidiary of EDF and a 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, the UK subsidiary of EDF Group, said: 'Following our partnership with the London Eye, EDF is delighted to be involved in this exciting project to help reduce the carbon footprint of another iconic London landmark ahead of the Games. As the first sustainability partner of London 2012, EDF is making real its low carbon vision for the capital. We hope that the new energy efficient lighting will make Tower Bridge a shining symbol of sustainability, encouraging visitors and residents to think about how they can live a lower carbon lifestyle.'

Mark Elborne, President and CEO of GE in the UK, said: 'The spotlight is going to be firmly on London in 2012, so it is the perfect time to be able to highlight one of London's most iconic global landmarks. We are very proud that our LEDs and equipment will be used to enhance Tower Bridge, helping to create a sustainable and flexible legacy.'


Notes to Editors:

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 www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for full details.

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.

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