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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) paid the Metropolitan Police just £1 for the Victorian wrought iron pontoon that is to be the base of London's new Lifeboat Pier when it opens on the River Thames next year. The charity is spending £800,000 refurbishing the pontoon, near Cleopatra's Needle. This will also provide new facilities for its crew, currently based on a rented pier by the Tower of London. The pontoon housed the Metropolitan Police river station until it fell into disrepair. RNLI Tower Station manager Janet Kelly alerted RNLI estates manager Howard Richings to the fact that the police were looking to sell at a knock down price. RNLI took on the 60m by 6m pontoon, spent £350,000 refurbishing it at the river's only floating dry dock at Pipers Wharf and now has contractor Square Foot Solutions erecting lifeboat station facilities on top.

Completion is due in January.

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