Secret ‘James Bond’ Tunnels May Become A Tourist Attraction in UK’s Central London


A warren of tunnels beneath central London, once used by the spies who inspired the creation of James Bond, has been reportedly bought by a fund manager with a £220 million ($269 million) plan to turn them into a tourist attraction ‘as iconic as the London Eye’.

Updated Sep 25, 2023 | 04:04 PM IST

Secret ‘James Bond’ Tunnels May Become A Tourist Attraction in UK (Twitter, The London Tunnels)

London : A warren of tunnels beneath central London, once used by the spies who inspired the creation of James Bond , has been reportedly bought by a fund manager with a £220 million ($269 million) plan to turn them into a tourist attraction ‘as iconic as the London Eye ‘.
The deal has been signed by Australian-born Angus Murray , a former executive at asset manager Macquarie Group Ltd., to buy the tunnels from Britain’s former state telecom monopoly, BT Group Plc, and has a year makeover strategy for the site. The Kingsway Telephone Exchange, as it is officially known, occupies 8,000 square meters (86,111 square feet), 40 meters below the lawyers” offices that characterize London’s Holborn district.
Murray , through his company, the London Tunnels Ltd, plans to line cavernous, cylindrical rooms with gigantic screens to create immersive, blockbuster-inspired experiences. Murray also hopes to strike deals with such Hollywood studios as Harry Potter-series maker Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon.com Inc., which now owns the rights to James Bond.
Meanwhile, Murray also wants to preserve parts of its history, such as what he says was the UK’s deepest bar, which was frequented by the engineers and clerks who worked underground. Later, according to reports, they made sure the first trans-Atlantic telecommunications line kept running in order to carry diplomatic emergency calls during the Cold War .

Earlier in August, Murray, during a tour of the tunnels, said, “Would I compare this to be as iconic as the London Eye? Yes, I would. Who wouldn’t come here?”

When were the tunnels built?

The tunnels were built in 1941 and 1942 to be used as deep shelters from air raids during the London Blitz. They were completed after the worst of the bombing was over, so they were never used for that purpose, according to historians at BT. By 1944, they were being used by the dull-sounding Inter-Services Research Bureau.

For Murray, this is a passion project which is a larger-life character with a background that’s mainly in finance rather than tourism or entertainment. Earlier in 2011, Murray’s fund Castlestone faced a raid by British regulators in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. Murray shut Castlestone’s British and Irish operations shortly after that probe as it became uneconomical.



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