Ferris wheel could make millions

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The Independent Online
The world's biggest Ferris wheel, to be built on the banks of the River Thames to celebrate the millennium, could also turn out to be a big money-spinner, it was revealed yesterday.

Britain's answer to the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower will stand 500 feet tall and cost pounds 10m.

But the cost could be recouped in the first year as the giant wheel earns its owners, the Millennium Wheel Company, pounds 250 for every minute it rotates with a full load.

The 60 glass capsules will carry 960 joy-riders at a time for a 20-minute "flight", a passenger load of two million a year.

British Airways, which is backing the project, says its position above the Thames, on the South Bank opposite the Houses of Parliament will enable unrivalled views of London.

The colossal structure, which is expected to take two years to build and will weigh 1,800 tons, will stand on the riverside for five years before being moved to a permanent site.

BA is investing pounds 600,000 in the project which will create 40 full-time jobs.