£44m given by ‘confidential’ or ‘anonymous’ companies, trusts and individuals
More than a third of the donations for Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge have come from individuals, companies and trusts hiding behind anonymity, according to documents released by the new mayor of London.
Sadiq Khan attempted to “let the sunshine in on the Garden Bridge” by publishing a slew of reports on the controversial project as he reconfirmed his support in return for some minor concessions. These include reducing the number of days the bridge can be shut for private events to “fewer than 12”.
But 39% are from anonymous sources, totalling just under £44m.
With construction due to start this summer by contracting joint venture Bouygues TP and Cimolai, a shade over £143m has been raised, leaving a £30m shortfall with construction due to start this summer.
The original vision for the £175m Thames crossing was that it would be backed by thousands of Londoners sticking their hands in their pockets.
But a document called Funding to Date published by the mayor (see attached pdf) reveals that just £103,897 has come from donations of £10,000 or less.
Seven other individuals – four of them anonymous – pledged £8.8m and just under £1 million came from a glitzy fundraising event.
The largest donations came from public funds – £30m from the Treasury and £30m from TfL.
The rest has come from 12 trusts and foundations – four of them anonymous – and 14 companies – five of them anonymous. One of the biggest donations, for £10m, came from a “confidential company”.
The Monument Trust was the biggest named private donor, pledging £20m. Well-known philanthropists Garfield Weston, Sackler and David and Claudia Harding have all chipped in.
Companies that have handed over money include Sky, which gave £5m, Citigroup, which gave £2m, Glencore, which gave £750,000, and Ernst & Young (EY), which gave £500,000. EY carried out the investigation into the heavily criticised procurement of the bridge, but has denied a conflict of interest.
Khan said: “The early days of this project clearly fell short of our expectations on transparency. I am determined to run the most open and transparent administration London has ever seen. I will let the sunshine in, which is why we are today publishing the previously undisclosed full business plan for the Garden Bridge alongside a list of its funders.”
The documents he published also include Heatherwick’s contract and correspondence with RIBA president Jane Duncan.