The London Eye could be gone by 2028

An iconic part of London’s skyline could disappear for ever in a few years. The London Eye, which has become as much a part of the capital’s furniture as M&M World and adult ballpits, could be removed by 2028.

The Millennium Wheel, as it was originally known, opened on December 31 1999. Initially, it only had a five-year lease, which was then extended. The London Eye’s current lease only runs until 2028 and the big wheel’s future is yet to be decided. Its operator, Merlin Entertainments, is applying to Lambeth Council for planning permission to keep it there for longer. 

Mike Vallis, Merlin division director, said: ‘The London Eye is a UK success story with a global reach. When it first opened at the turn of the century, no-one could have envisaged it would become synonymous with all that is great about our capital city. As the capital’s most visited paid-for attraction, it continues to be enjoyed by millions of guests every year, it is now time for us to secure its long-term future through this application to Lambeth Council.’ 

He added: ‘Now is the time to ensure the Eye can be enjoyed for generations to come, and we look forward to working with Lambeth Council to secure the necessary amendment to the existing planning permission.’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘The London Eye is established as one of our capital’s most recognisable visitor attractions and is a must-see destination for tourists from home and abroad. It is fantastic news that Merlin Entertainments is bringing forward plans for the Eye’s permanent future to secure its place as an integral part of London’s long-term visitor offer.’

As a legendary fixture on the capital’s skyline, we reckon that the former Millennium Wheel is good for a fair few more revolutions yet. Long live the London Eye! 

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