London Eye operators in talks about rent rise

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The Independent Online

The operators of the London Eye were yesterday locked in talks with the owner of the site of the giant wheel amid fears that a huge rent rise could jeopardise the attraction's future.

The operators of the London Eye were yesterday locked in talks with the owner of the site of the giant wheel amid fears that a huge rent rise could jeopardise the attraction's future.

The owner of the site, the South Bank Centre, is understood to want to increase the annual rent for the British Airways-run London landmark from £65,000 a year to £2.5m. The Conservatives said today that any problems with the 450ft-high Eye could harm London's chances of getting the 2012 Olympic Games.

The South Bank Centre is a government-appointed body which is chaired by Lord Hollick, who was appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell. Conservative culture spokesman Theresa May said it was unacceptable that the Eye's future was at risk and called for a statement from Ms Jowell. But she said that it is not a matter in which the Government should intervene.

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