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London Eye Facts and Figures
Okay, so your assignment is due and you've got to get the beef on the London Eye Fret not, in the true tradition of good journalism, LondonNet brings you the 'who, what, when, where, why and how' on the capital's most popular tourist attraction.
- Architects David Marks and Julia Barfield conceived and executed the construction of the London Eye
- British Airways and the Tussauds Group were the initial commercial partners to the architects. It is now fully owned and controlled by Tussauds' parent the Merlin Entertainments Group and from 2015 known as the Coca Cola London Eye.
So far, The Eye has had four names as follows:
- Millennium Wheel (pre-2000 launch)
- British Airways London Eye (Launch in 2000 to 2008)
- Merlin Entertainments London Eye (2008 to 2011)
- EDF Energy London Eye (2011 onwards)
- Coca Cola London Eye (2015 onwards)
The current owner, Merlin Entertainments, plans to sell the naming rights to boost the attraction's income. The previous deal with EDF Energy was rumoured to be worth £8m. The Coca Cola deal is for two years.
- 135 metres (443 feet) high
- 32 capsules each carrying up to 25 passengers, making a capacity of 800 people.
- 1700 tonnes of steel makes up the Eye.
- The wheel moves at half a mile an hour, taking thirty minutes to complete a full rotation.
- The London Eye was officially opened on 31 December 1999 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
- Due to teething problems, paying passengers weren't able to take a flight until March 2000.
- The London Eye sits on the south bank of the River Thames in Jubilee Gardens, a few minutes from Waterloo station.
- To celebrate the turning of the new millennium in 2000. It was one of a number of projects to commemorate the coming of the third millennium, including the ill-fated Millennium Dome (now the O2), Greenwich.
- Sections of the London Eye were floated down the River Thames on pontoons. They were then carefully raised by a series of very slow cranes.