London Eye Owner Bids for Attraction's Long-Term Approval

December 7, 2022, 11:57 AM · London Eye owner Merlin Entertainments is applying for permission to keep the popular UK attraction open permanently.

The original permit for the observation wheel on the Thames allowed the attraction through 2028, at which point the local planning commission would have to decide whether to retain it.

Merlin Entertainments announced today that it will apply to Lambeth Council to discharge the planning condition, which would enable the London Eye to be kept in place permanently. Originally called the the Millennium Wheel, the London Eye opened on December 31, 1999, although it did not welcome passengers from the public until March 2000.

"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," Mike Vallis, Merlin's Divisional Director for Midway Attractions in the UK, said. "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."

London Eye
London's New Year's fireworks display will return to the Eye this year. Photo courtesy Merlin Entertainments

"The London Eye is established as one of our capital’s most recognisable visitor attractions, and is a must-see destination for tourists from at 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," London Mayor Sadiq Khan said. "I'm delighted that the London Eye will once again be the focal point for our New Year’s Eve celebrations as millions of people around the world look to our capital as we welcome in 2023, and together continue to build a better, more prosperous London for everyone."

The application is expected to be formally submitted by spring. For tickets to the London Eye, please visit our international partner's London Eye tickets page.

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