Gar­den Bridge de­signer in line for £2.6m div­i­dend

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business - By Jack Tor­rance

THOMAS HEATHERWICK, the man be­hind Lon­don 2012’s Olympic caul­dron and the cap­i­tal’s con­tro­ver­sial new Routemas­ter buses, is set to re­ceive a pay­out of at least £2.6m de­spite falling prof­its at his de­sign com­pany.

Turnover at Heatherwick Stu­dio, which also de­signed Lon­don’s now­can­celled Gar­den Bridge, was broadly flat in the year to March 2017 at £27.5m.

But pre-tax prof­its fell around 9.5pc to £9.5m as the com­pany hired 21 new em­ploy­ees, tak­ing its to­tal head­count to 201 and adding around £1.8m to its wage bill.

The com­pany paid £3.5m in div­i­dends for the year. Com­pa­nies House records show Mr Heatherwick owns 75pc or more of the com­pany’s shares, mean­ing he is in line for at least £2.6m.

Heatherwick Stu­dio’s UK turnover soared 40pc in the year to £6.2m, but that was off­set by a 14pc drop in Asia and a 7.6pc de­cline in the rest of the world. A spokesman for Heatherwick Stu­dio de­clined to com­ment.

The long-awaited Gar­den Bridge project was can­celled last year after fierce crit­i­cism of its ten­der­ing process, leav­ing tax­pay­ers with a £46m bill. Mr Heatherwick, who is known for his eye-catch­ing de­signs, trained at Manch­ester Polytech­nic and the Royal Col­lege of Art, where he was men­tored by Sir Ter­ence Con­ran.

He started the busi­ness, pre­vi­ously called Thomas Heatherwick Stu­dio, in 1994. His other no­table works in­clude the Bom­bay Sap­phire distillery in Hamp­shire, the Rolling Bridge in Lon­don’s Padding­ton and the furry UK pav­il­ion for the Shang­hai World Expo in 2010. Last month one of the com­pany’s lat­est de­signs, Ves­sel, which has been dubbed New York’s an­swer to the Eif­fel Tower, reached its pin­na­cle.

The struc­ture is the cen­tre­piece of a $20bn (£14.7bn) re­de­vel­op­ment of the city’s Hud­son Yards – an in­dus­trial area in the west of Man­hat­tan, en­cir­cled by the High Line walk­way.

In 2012 Mr Heatherwick told The

Daily Tele­graph: “Find­ing a de­sign so­lu­tion is like solv­ing a crime. We’re a bit like an in­ves­tiga­tive team. We an­a­lyse. We ex­plore lines of in­quiry. Then we elim­i­nate things un­til we’re left with the so­lu­tion.”

The Lon­don 2012 caul­dron is among the de­signs cre­ated by Thomas Heatherwick

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