Satellite broadcaster Sky has signed a multimillion deal to sponsor Thomas Heatherwick’s controversial Garden Bridge over The Thames
The agreement sees Sky become ’one of the biggest individual donations’ of the £175 million project with the money earmarked to fund a large, central garden on the 366m-long, copper-nickel structure.
In November the amount of public cash promised towards the proposed link between Temple station and the South Bank was cut by two thirds, effectively reducing the £30 million initially pledged by Transport for London (TfL) to £10 million. The other £20 million, which had already been handed over by TfL, will have to be paid back over 50 years from the date the bridge opens.
Speaking about today’s sponsorship deal Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky, said: ’The [Garden Bridge] project will enrich London, helping us to give back to the city where Sky was founded more than twenty five years ago and remains headquartered today.
’The Garden Bridge will create a beautiful and tranquil space for us all to enjoy, and will become an iconic landmark in the heart of our capital city.”
Mervyn Davies, chairman of the scheme’s backers the Garden Bridge Trust, added: ’It will cost £175million to deliver the Garden Bridge project.
’More than 77 per cent of the capital costs to build the bridge will be raised from the private sector. The Trust is well on its way to meeting its target with £145million raised for the Bridge so far, including £85million from private sources.’
The Garden Trust also has revealed that the new pedestrian bridge will be planted with 270 new trees, around 27,500 hardy perennials ferns and grasses, and 72,000 bulbs.
Construction on the scheme is expected to start this year with completion pencilled in for 2018.