In a rare "shard" of light piercing the gloom of the building industry, construction of the 80-storey Shard tower will go ahead at London Bridge next month.
The necessary demolition has been completed, and LBQ – which owns the whole £2bn development of which the Shard is just the first phase – has signed a building deal with Mace Group.
The overall London Bridge Quarter regeneration scheme covers a 2 million sq ft area and includes office, residential and retail developments, as well as a hotel.
Salah Mohamad Jaidah, the chairman of LBQ, said: "We are very pleased to have reached the stage where everybody has the confidence to move this project forward in such a strong manner. The investors in LBQ have great confidence that the Shard will be completed on schedule in what are very difficult economic conditions."
The Mace Group deal only applies to the Shard. A separate contract will be let for London Bridge Place, the 610,000 sq ft office site adjacent to the tower.
Left: An artist's impression of the Shard (London Bridge Tower), which will rise 68 storeys above the Thames and be Britain's tallest building.