The Garden Bridge Trust has admitted a shortfall in funding for the project and has called for Government to demonstrate its continued support.
The Trust has asked for the Government’s £15M underwriting of the controversial project to be extended by a year to September 2017 – from the existing £60M public funding package.
The Trust has raised just over £69M of private funding from 2013 to June 2016. A further £55.9M is now required to meet the fundraising total.
“The Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) have been valuable supporters and partners from the very beginning. They provided funding because of the clear public transport case for the Bridge, without which we would not have got the project off the ground. This funding has helped kick start the public funding drive,” said Lord Mervyn Davies, chair of the Garden Bridge Trust.
“Now is a crucial time for the Garden Bridge. We have faced considerable challenges but we are now on the brink of building a truly unique crossing. It would be a tragedy if the Government withdrew their support now.
“The decision now rests with the DfT to extend the underwriting. We are not asking for more public money but we do need the Government’s renewed backing.”
Construction will not start until land deals on both sides of the river have been finalised and all outstanding planning issues have been resolved. This is expected to be concluded by autumn 2016.
The completion date for the Garden Bridge is now scheduled for 2019.