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Revealed | Money spent in Garden Bridge's last year

Garden bridge arup

The canned Garden Bridge project spent £14.3M in pre-construction costs during 2017 despite planning permission never being granted, according to its latest accounts.

In total, £17.4M was spent during 2017, while just £3.9M was raised in donations for the project during the whole year.

This includes winding-up costs paid to a joint venture between Bouygues and Cimolai which was appointed as the main contractor to build the bridge in April 2015.

The accounts confirm that “discussions with the contractor on costs due to them at termination” were triggered following the Mayor of London’s decision to pull support for the project in April 2017.

The Garden Bridge Trust has also explkained that £7M had to be returned to donors as part of the winding up process.

“The decision to terminate triggered the obligation to repay certain donations and funds received which were subject to restrictions that had been imposed by the funder/donor,” the report said. “These sums […] total £7,015,035.”

The accuounts statement adds that the “Trust expects to be able to deliver a solvent wind-up over the next two months”.

The accounts go some way to explaining where £46M of public funded money was spent, including £9M underwritten by the Department for Transport.

As part of the winding-up process, the Trust has said that it “will not exceed £5.5M” of the £9M underwriting facility.

At the time of closure, the report also outlines that total staff costs totalled £1.3M.

That includes one salary of between £110,001 and £120,000; one of £80,001 to £90,000 and two salaries of £60,001 to £70,000.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Such a disgusting waste of money for a project that nobody in their right minds wanted.

    If only we could get rid of that other vanity project - HS2.

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  • There needs to be a serious public investigation into how such fees were racked up. To the best of my understanding this did not include significant costs such as ground investigation, nor the securing of the landing point on at least one bank.

    I recall at the time there were concerns about the procurement process, with different bidding parties given different amounts of pre-tender information and opportunities to revise commercial submissions.

    Initiatives to improve our industry (e.g. Project 13) are great, but until there is greater public transparency on seeming wastes of money such as this, the industry will continue to suffer from a poor reputation in the eyes of the Public.

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  • We know who we have to "thank" for this waste of Public money, don't we?

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