£20m loan sees negotiations resume with Lambeth over land needed for project

The Garden Bridge Trust has confirmed that its £20m loan from Transport for London towards the cost of building it will not be fully repaid until 2068.

Earlier this week, the charity building the £175m bridge designed by Thomas Heathewick said it had struck a deal with Lambeth council – one of the two local authorities to give it planning – to resume negotiations over land needed for the bridge’s southern landing.

Council leader Lib Peck had suspended negotiations in September saying not enough progress had been made in attracting funding from the private sector.

TfL has now reduced the amount – which was first sanctioned by London mayor Boris Johnson – that it will give the project from £30m to £10m.

But it will hand £20m to the project in the form of a loan which will start to be paid back once the bridge is built – scheduled for 2018.

It has not yet been revealed how the payments will be made or whether they will be interest free – although earlier this week the trust said it was “working on the interest rate with TfL”. A Garden Bridge spokeswoman said it was still finalising the details of the repayment agreement with TfL which would “be done very soon”.

Garden Bridge Trust chairman Mervyn Davies said £85 million had been pledged from the private sector to date. As well as the TfL money, chancellor George Osborne has pledged a further £30 million from the public purse.

Work on the bridge is due to start early next year with the scheme due to open to the public by June 2018.

Meanwhile, London mayor Boris Johnson has said private sector backers have pledged £45m to the Olympicopolis project in east London – but says he wants more.

The scheme involves new homes for the V&A, the University of the Arts London, Sadler’s Wells and the Smithsonian. They will go up on a strip along the River Lea on the east side of the Olympic Park.

The government has pledged £141m to the scheme but Johnson wants the private sector to find a further £135m. It has been given a traget of £180m.

Allies & Morrison will carry out the work and is leading a team featuring O’Donnell & Tuomey, Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia and Gustafson Porter, Buro Happold and Gardiner and Theobald.

Building work on the Stratford Waterfront site is due to start in 2018 and it is due to be fully open to the public in 2022.