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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
South Bank 'unknown without Eye'
London Eye
The London Eye is one of the city's most recognisable structures
More than half of Britons cannot recognise London's South Bank without the London Eye, research suggests.

The 442ft (135-metre) wheel was the UK's most recognisable landmark, known by 98% of the 1,010 adults surveyed by training group ConstructionSkills.

But only 41% could name the South Bank when shown images without the wheel.

The survey found two-thirds of Britons would not know where they were without other landmarks such as Blackpool Tower or the Liver Building.

The UK adults were shown images of 12 well-known British landscapes with a key landmark missing to see if they recognised it.

We wanted to inspire in people an appreciation of their built environment
Paul Sykes

Only two thirds of people recognised Blackpool's beachfront without its tower - but once the tower was replaced, this rose to 97%.

The recently-unveiled Spinnaker Tower has already made an impact in Portsmouth. Half of Portsmouth locals did not recognise the harbour without it, compared with 89% with the landmark.

Some 88% of Birmingham residents surveyed were unable to identify the city without the Regency Hyatt Hotel.

And only 27% of respondents were able to recognise Cardiff harbour without the Millennium Centre on the waterfront.

Iconic buildings

But over half the country could orientate themselves once they saw the landmark.

The survey was carried out as part of a new recruitment campaign targeting young people for the construction industry.

ConstructionSkills hopes it will show them how they can "make their mark" and leave a lasting legacy by working in buildings.

Paul Sykes, of ConstructionSkills, said: "Britain is rich in iconic buildings, both old and new. This research shows the importance of these buildings and structures in giving us a sense of place.

"Whether it's a famous building or local sculpture, landmarks signpost an area and contribute to its character, becoming symbolic of the region and those who live there."

Photogenic UK landmarks revealed
11 May 06 |  West Midlands
Spinnaker opens five years late
18 Oct 05 |  Hampshire
The history of the London Eye
21 May 05 |  London


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