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1000 gallons of paint needed for London Eye repaint

The London Eye is to get its first repaint since the giant wheel was constructed on the South Bank two and a half years ago.

A family firm has been awarded the first ever contract to paint the world's biggest observation wheel.

A team of six specialist painters with a head for heights from F.A. Clover of Richmond, Surrey, will paint the capital's most popular paid-for visitor attraction.

The job will take about six months to complete and around 1000 gallons (roughly 5000 litres) of paint for the 135 metre high structure.

The job will include painting the two 58 metre legs of the 310 tonne frame that supports the attraction, the 3.7 metre diameter hub at the centre of the wheel and the six metre wide rim and its cobweb of 'ribs' that connect the inner wheel rim to the outer wheel rim.

Work will be carried out at night to ensure that visitors can continue to enjoy the panoramic views of London

Ian Clover, director of FA Clover and Sons, said: "We are delighted to win the contract to paint one of London's most famous landmarks. It will be an exciting and challenging project."

Clover's other recent contracts include the roof of Centre Court at Wimbledon and the new roof of the British Museum.

David Sharpe, general manager of the riverside attraction, said: "The London Eye is one of the capital's most successful visitor attractions. Last year it attracted more than four million visitors.

"At a time when inbound tourism is threatened by world events it is important to continue to re-invest in one of London's most valuable assets."

• British Airways London Eye

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