The Mayor of London Boris Johnson officially opened The View from The Shard - the premium attraction at the pinnacle of The Shard, developed by Sellar property in association with LBQ Ltd, at 0900 hrs today, Friday 1 February 2013.
The first guests to the attraction were greeted 244m (800ft) above London in the viewing galleries of The View from The Shard by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London; Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property and developer of The Shard and London Bridge Quarter and Renzo Piano, architect of LBQ.
Guests gathered on Level 72, which is partially open to the elements, and the highest vantage point in Western Europe, to see The London Mayor formally launch The View from The Shard with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The first 200 visitors to the attraction were also given a commemorative opening day photographic print of The Shard.
The View from The Shard is the only place it is possible to see all of London at once. The 244m (800ft) high attraction provides 360 degree, 64km (40 mile) views across the capital and is set to become the starting point for visitors and tourists to London. The viewing gallery is home to remarkable digital telescopes that are being used in Europe for the first time. These 12 'Tell:scopes' enable guests to see London by day, night and sunrise as well as providing information on over 250 landmarks in 10 languages. Over 130,000 tickets to the attraction have already been sold, exceeding targets. The attraction is queue and crowd free with guests choosing a time and date to visit that suits them best. Tickets have been sold across the first four months of opening - with Valentine's Day, 14 February, being particularly popular.
The View from The Shard has announced 96 new jobs for local people, including 20 apprenticeships. Almost of half of those employed are from Southwark and over a quarter from Lewisham and Lambeth. In addition, over one million guests are estimated to visit the attraction during its first year of opening, significantly increasing visitors to the area and boosting the local economy.
The View from The Shard is the first part of The Shard to open. The building is the heart of the £2bn London Bridge Quarter development which will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the area, delivering increased investment, apprenticeships and thousands of new jobs.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This stunning new visitor attraction is a fantastic addition to London's tourist offer. From these dizzy heights the greatest city on earth, from historic to modern, is spread out below in all its magnificent glory and visitors will be mesmerised by this experience.
"I am confident that The Shard and the huge London Bridge Quarter development will change the face of this important part of our city attracting new businesses and creating thousands of jobs in the coming years."
Anders Nyberg, Chief Executive of The View from The Shard, said: "We are proud to be opening a unique experience - the only place it is possible to see all of London, all at once, from the pinnacle of Western Europe's tallest building. The View from The Shard enables people to appreciate London like never before and will become a first stop in the city for visitors and tourists to this great city. We are delighted with our ticket sales, our team and are hugely confident for the years ahead."
Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property and developer of The Shard said: "The Shard has been designed to be a building in the heart of London that is open to all to visit and enjoy and The View from The Shard is a fundamental part of this. There is no doubt that The View from The Shard will be one of the leading attractions in London, complemented by the restaurants - Aqua and Oblix - bars and the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, which will all open later this year. It is an integral part of our vision that The Shard and London Bridge Quarter will form a unique and inclusive area at the heart of a community that has a long history and huge potential for growth."