London mayor Boris Johnson topped out the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel near Waterloo on the South Bank last night.

When it opens early next year the £350m hotel will comprise more than 1,000 guest rooms. It is being developed by the AIM-listed Park Plaza Hotels group.

A 'Topping Out' ceremony marks the completion of the external structure of a building.

Johnson said: 'This impressive development has removed an awful eyesore that has blighted this corner of the capital for too long. A sparkling new hotel is just what the South Bank needs. I am sure it will act as a major springboard for the regeneration plans for Waterloo Station and the surrounding area, on top of creating hundreds of jobs and boosting the local economy.'

It will be owned and operated by Park Plaza Hotels, which already operates four 4-star and one five-star hotel in London.

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge will employ around 800 people and will contribute to the ongoing regeneration of the South Bank.

The 16-storey glass-panelled hotel is on the former site of the derelict Greater London Council building, which was widely regarded as one of the ugliest buildings in London.

Park Plaza Hotels president & CEO Boris Ivesha said: 'We are passionate about London and are on track to deliver 5,000 beds across the capital, establishing Park Plaza Hotels as one of the city’s most important hotel operators.'