Sellar Property Group has secured interim development finance for the Shard at London Bridge.

It announced today that £196m of finance from banks Nationwide Building Society and Kaupthin Singer & Friedlander has been secured for the 72-storey scheme.

The development, known as The London Bridge Quarter, comprises a total of 1.6m sq ft (148,643 sq m) of mixed-use space around London Bridge Station in two buildings designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Part of the £196m has been used to fund the purchase of the PwC occupational lease of Southwark Towers - the 1970's building that will be demolished to make way for the Shard.

Sellar has secured the funding on behalf of the scheme’s joint venture owners Sellar, CLS Holdings and Simon Halabi’s Halabi Family Trust. The joint venture is called Teighmore.

Half of the commercial space has been prelet. Transport for London is taking 190,000 sq ft (17,651 sq m) of offices on the lower floors on a 30-year lease. A further 200,000 sq ft (18,580 sq m) has been taken on a 30-year lease by Shangri-La Hotels.

Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Property Group, said: ‘This represents a significant step forward for us. We can start demolishing the existing building towards the end of next year and deliver the completed project between 2010 and 2011. This financing also gives Teighmore time to consider its options for financing the construction phase of the project.’