Mayor welcomes new public water fountains and invites bids for next 16

25 March 2018
  • First new fountain installed now in one of London’s busiest shopping areas, Kingly Court off Carnaby Street
  • Three more set to follow in Liverpool St Station and Flat Iron Square, Southwark
  • Fund opens for land and site owners to bid for locations of next 16
  • Up to 20 new fountains to be delivered by Sadiq and partners by the end the year


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the installation of a new public water fountain in one of London’s busiest shopping locations, Carnaby Street, and invited bids to install more water fountains in the capital.


As part of his work to reduce single-use plastic bottles in London, the Mayor has committed to delivering up to 20 new water fountains across the city this year. In addition to the new fountain in Kingly Court, Carnaby, three more will follow this summer -  two in Liverpool Street Station and one in Bankside’s Flat Iron Square.


To help secure locations for the next 16 fountains, Sadiq is calling on land and site owners to bid for funding from a pot of up to £75,000, up to £50,000 of which is provided by the Mayor, with an additional £25,000 provided by water fountain specialists MIW.


Applications will be considered from site owners bidding for fountains in busy shopping streets, business districts, public attractions and other places that have high public footfall.   


The bids will be assessed by the #OneLess campaign, which is led by Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) and which aims to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles that end up in our rivers and oceans. ZSL will also assess the site applications on accessibility, visibility and access to water – making water refills available for as many Londoners as possible. Applicants should visit for information on how to apply, with an expression of interest deadline of 24th April 2018.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “To get a grip on needless plastic waste we need to provide simple ways of refilling and accessing free water, and water fountains are the much-needed solution. I hope the first four of the 20 new fountains this year will be popular additions to Carnaby Street, Liverpool Street Station and Flat Iron Square. For years public water fountains have been disappearing from London’s streets; I want to hear from land owners in some of London’s most-visited locations so we can continue returning them to the capital.”


Dr Heather Koldewey, #OneLess campaign Director and Head of Marine and Freshwater Conservation at ZSL said: “London is a coastal city, connected to the ocean by the River Thames. Every day the ocean sends oxygen, weather, fresh water and wildlife into the heart of our city through the Thames and every day we send plastic debris back. The #OneLess ‘refill revolution’ will make a huge impact in reducing this plastic blight and London is leading the way in finding the means to enable it. #OneLess is delighted to be partnering with the Mayor of London and MIW Water Cooler Experts on this exciting project.”


The average adult in London buys more than three plastic water bottles every week* - a startling 175 bottles every year. In total, some 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste.


Earlier this month the Mayor launched Refill London, which encourages shops, businesses and cafes to provide free tap water to members of the public. The first phase of the scheme is running in five areas of London: Greenwich town centre, Lewisham High Street, the Southbank and Bankside, Regent St, and London Bridge. Outlets include Costa, Tate Modern, BFI Imax and Leon.


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Notes to editors

  • Liverpool Street Station, managed by Network Rail, is the UK’s third busiest rail serving around 64m passengers a year. The railway station will be the site of two new fountains as part of this project. Network Rail announced in February that they will install water fountains at some of their major railway stations, beginning with a trial at Charing Cross.
  • As part of his ambition for London to send no biodegradable or recyclable waste to landfill by 2026, the Mayor is also considering the potential for a plastic bottle deposit return scheme that gives money back for recycling bottles. Other countries who have adopted similar schemes have seen plastic bottle recycling increase up to 90 per cent. 
  • *Plastic bottle figures from the #OneLess initiative ( The #OneLess campaign has been leading the charge against ocean plastic pollution since 2016, focusing on the pervasive single-use plastic water bottle. We are creating a ‘refill revolution’ in London, transforming the capital into a place where single-use bottled water is a thing of the past and where ‘refilling’ rules. #OneLess is led by the Zoological Society of London, in partnership with Forum for the Future, The International Programme on the State of the Ocean, and the Thames Estuary Partnership. It was set up as an initiative of the Marine CoLABoration which was set up by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to explore how human values and the value of the ocean are reflected in individual and collective decision-making and can be utilized to increase ocean protection. For more information visit
  • The Mayor is encouraging businesses and shops and venues to join London Refill and offer free tap water to the public. To join the scheme visit the Refill website

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