Changes are intended to decrease carbon footprint and avoid further maintenance for up to 20 years

The London Eye is to get a £12.5m upgrade to make it more energy efficient and avoid the need for major maintenance work for the next 15-20 years.

Changes to the visitor attraction which is owned by Merlin Entertainment's Group will include upgrades to the existing heating and ventilation systems to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly, claims the company, and the installation in one capsule of four ceiling-mounted screens and enhanced multi media and wi-fi capabilities enabling it to provide music and visuals. The other capsules will be able to support this technology in the future.

David Sharpe, divisional director of London Midway attractions at Merlin Entertainments Group, said: “This will ensure the London Eye operates at maximum efficiency and is cutting down its carbon footprint well into the future.”

Each of the 32 capsules will be removed and taken down the Thames to Silvertown in London's docklands where it will be loaded onto a truck and taken to Worcester for the upgrade. A non-operational capsule will take its place until it is returned. The upgrade will begin this summer and should be completed in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

Cyril Sweett is QS and project manager on the scheme.