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Tower Bridge's Olympic makeover gets planning permission

Plans to refurbish Tower Bridge with temporary giant Olympic Rings and Paralympic Agitos and a new energy efficient lighting system have been granted final planning and listed building consent.

Southwark Council and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have now given the go-ahead to the project. The Olympic Rings and Paralympic Agitos will be in place for 45 days during the 2012 Games and will be similar to those already installed at St Pancras International station. Work is expected to start imminently.  

The new lighting system will comprise LED lights and a new cabling system, and will help cut energy consumption from lighting the bridge by up to 40% compared with current figures. The new lighting will also have capacity for varying colours and intensity, unlike the current static lights. These features will be used on occasions such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, New Year’s Eve and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The project will be financed through an “innovative” funding deal between the London mayor, the City of London Corporation, and London 2012 sponsors EDF and GE, the Greater London Authority announced today. The work will be done at no cost to the taxpayer, said London mayor Boris Johnson. “This grand old lady of London, one of our best loved landmarks, is now set to play a sparkling role in the [Olympic] celebrations,” he said.

Supply chain

Global lighting firm Citelum has been appointed to design the lighting and begin installation works.

Citelum has previously delivered ambitious lighting projects on historic buildings including the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur and the Eiffel Tower.

Planning and urban design consultant Turley Associates has been appointed to secure the necessary consents to implement the project.

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