MCHENGE: Fast food giant sponsors Stonehenge tunnel project.

31 03 2021

Today, companies large and small take advantage of the opportunity to adopt sections of roadway and more all over the world.  Local governments are constantly looking for creative ways to sponsor tunnel and roadway infrastructure. McDonald’s offers fresh insights on developing innovative sponsorship including naming opportunities for projects such as tunnels and bridges.  In England, spiraling tunnel costs are forcing the Government to announce a corporate infrastructure sponsorship with the fast-food giant sponsoring the Stonehenge tunnel project.  Plans also include a tunnel toll fee that will be implemented to help recoup the costs of the tunnels construction and maintenance. 

According to the National Audit Office report, the Amesbury and Berwick Down project, which includes the tunnel, is forecast to cost between £1.5bn and £2.4bn, with a likely cost of around £2.1bn.  In return for financial sponsorship, McDonald’s receives prominent fleet and uniform brand positioning.  In addition to the Golden Arches on the east and west entrances, you will see their branding (sponsor recognition panels) on the tunnel interior with several hundred intersecting horse-shoe shaped arches.

“The Golden Arches of McDonald’s will rise gloriously across the Wiltshire landscape, Contempo-monolithic, and as simple in concept as Stonehenge” said Terence Hillier, a spokesperson for the McDonald’s sponsorship scheme.

Wiltshire council leaders have been defending the private funding initiative and reportedly welcome the prospect of bringing the Golden Arches to within sniffing distance of Britain’s greatest archaeological monument.

All these factors, coupled with the public’s growing comfort with naming public assets after private entities, make road and tunnel “branding” a reality in today’s economic climate. Two decades ago few people could have imagined sports stadiums named after financial and energy companies, yet it is a common practice today.  The Stonehenge tunnel on the A303 will not be far behind.

The introduction of toll electronic road pricing (ERP) is expected to cost £7 per vehicle however, discounts will be offered to local residents.  Also, motorists on the A303, who will no longer get a free view of Stonehenge whilst travelling through the tunnel, will be able to claim a 25% discount at the English Heritage visitor centre.

McDonald’s will also be offering discounts on their exclusively branded menu for toll payers at any of their A303 restaurants. Vouchers will be redeemable on Chicken McDruids, Stone Burgers and Solstice Shakes.

The Stonehenge Drive-Thru is expected to open in 2026 and local residents are ‘lovin’ it.

1st APRIL 2021

Related Topics:
Plans for proposed dome to cover Stonehenge from 2021 – Stonehenge News Blog
April Fool! ‘Plans’ to beam advertising onto Stonehenge circle at night – Daily Mail
Moving the Avebury stones for British Summer Time – National Trust
When is April Fools’ Day 2021? Why we mark it with jokes, what time it ends and the best pranks from history – INEWS
Stonehenge To Move (April Fool’s Day – 1991) – Daily Mail
Geophysical survey reveals secret chambers and corridors underneath Stonehenge – Stonehenge News Blog
Stonehenge Tours with expert tour local tour guides – Stonenge Tour Company

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