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Tower Bridge plans to 'go commercial'

PUBLISHED: 12:20 21 September 2010 | UPDATED: 14:15 21 September 2010

Tower bridge

Tower bridge

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THE iconic Tower Bridge could soon sprout advertising hoardings across the River Thames.

THE iconic Tower Bridge could soon sprout advertising hoardings across the River Thames.

The world-famous grade I-listed structure next to the Tower of London could be covered in ‘sponsorship’ ads for three months if plans by the City of London Corporation get the green light.

The neo-Gothic structure built in 1894 is currently under a major repainting programme to be ready by the 2012 Olympics being staged in East London.

Scaffolding is being erected on the bascules for three months so that paint can be stripped and a fresh finish applied.

It won’t disrupt river traffic, although the clearance for large vessels will be reduced.

The City Corporation, which maintains Tower Bridge, has applied to Tower Hamlets Council and Southwark Council for listed building planning consent to display 120ft-long banners on the scaffolding on both sides, looking east down the Thames and west towards the City.

Preference goes to Olympic sponsors, the City Surveyor’s department says in its planning application.

But the Corporation denies any intention to use the global icon as “a glorified advertising hoarding.”

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Should Tower Bridge have advertising hoardings? What do you think?

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