Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge in London has won back popular support amongst officials after a major cut in its public funding has been announced.
Lambeth council has forced Transport for London (TfL) to slash its funding for the project by two thirds. As a result TfL – who are the authority in charge of the Garden Bridge program, which was approved last year – has reduced the amount of taxpayer money being put into the bridge from £30 to £10m.
Following the announcement the council has agreed to resume negotiations over the proposed project.
The news removes one of the last major obstacles to the construction of the £175m bridge.
Now, all that's needed for construction to commence is an approved amendment to the site's lease in Lambeth. It is expected to break ground next year, despite lingering concerns over maintenance costs and use restrictions.
The Garden Bridge Trust said it would make up the shortfall in funding by raising more private-sector money, or by “paying back any TfL monies over a period of time”. A Garden Bridge spokesman said: “We are working on the interest rate with TfL.”
Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck suspended negotiations in September saying not enough funding from the private sector had been secured.
In a statement she said: “I’m pleased that Londoners are getting a better financial deal particularly at a time of austerity when all public sector organisations are being forced to make deep cuts to services.”