Apple ‘wanted to open store’ on Garden Bridge

Computer and phone company Apple was interested in sponsoring the Garden Bridge if it could open a retail store on the river crossing, according to Boris Johnson's former deputy mayor.

Sir Edward Lister
Sir Edward Lister

Sir Edward Lister, who served at City Hall as Boris Johnson's chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning, told Dame Margaret Hodge that Apple had expressed interest in sponsoring the controversial river crossing.

"They had an interest if they could build a retail store on the bridge and that was not going to be acceptable," Sir Edward told Dame Margaret in December 2016.

"Then there was an idea that you could build a retail store on Temple Station ... but it then transpired it wasn't really a possibility."

A transcript of Sir Edward's evidence to Dame Margaret Hodge's Garden Bridge investigation was published this week.

Sir Edward accompanied Boris Johnson and Isabel Dedring (then deputy mayor for transport) on a 24-hour visit to San Francisco for talks with Apple bosses in January 2013.

The trip – which failed to yield any financial backing for the Garden Bridge – cost London taxpayers around 10,000.

Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the Garden Bridge, was already in San Francisco as a guest of Apple design guru Jonathan Ive.

Questioned on the Apple visit by Dame Margaret, Isabel Dedring said: "I think on the particular issue of California, it was all slightly odd anyway but Boris is quite like that."

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