Brighton i360 offered financial lifeline

Posted On 29 Mar 2012 at 5:30 pm

The proposed i360 observation tower in Brighton could be offered a financial lifeline.

A bid for £3 million funding has been submitted to a regional development fund by Brighton and Hove City Council.

And the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has shortlisted the application for funding the new attraction which would create 180 jobs, council leader Bill Randall said.

The LEP set up the fund for “shovel ready” projects which had been given planning permission but had stalled since the credit crunch hit bank lending.

If the bid is successful the council will lend money to the i360 to kickstart building work.

Councillor Randall said: “The council would see a financial benefit if this goes ahead.

“This would create about 180 jobs. It’s also in an area of the city that does need regeneration.

“Preston Street is nothing like it used to be and that whole area could do with a lift. It’s seen better times.”

All the associated funding deals would have to be signed off within nine months with construction likely to start within a year.

News of the application was set out at a council cabinet member meeting held to discuss planning, employment, economy and regeneration.

Marks Barfield, the architects, and the West Pier Trust are behind the plans for the i360.

  1. saveHOVE Reply

    This development was not universally welcomed when it was still a planning application.

    The pole is 4 metres in diameter! There is a service/emergency spiral staircase through that pole. Piling into the seafront will be extremely deep to support this mega-pole and there are no plans for how to decommission this glorified fairground ride once it is rammed into the chalk bed beneath us.

    The Brighton Wheel will be a good litmus test of demand and likely profitability. How many millions are they taking? And many millions need to BE taken to actually repay the loan BHCC proposes to hand out. Is anyone checking that before giving Council money to the i360? Councillors are persuaded that the financials stack up. Residents should be shown the evidence.

    Juxtaposed with the Listed Regency Square dead opposite, it is an incongrous seafront project which would hurt the trade for both the Metropole and Grand Hotels. Who wants to pay hundreds for a room with a sea view and get a Blackpool ride filling the view instead. All the historic grandeur and gravitas of these hotels is erased by having this vulgar gewgaw built close so close to its curtilege.

    As for the idea that Preston Street can once again be the place to go to dine in a restaurant….wakey, wakey. The entire city has moved ON and high level, REALLY huge levels of variety are now available CITYWIDE. Use class changes are urgently required in that street to provide more than just restaurants that barely hang in there and look tatty.

    My heart breaks for the future of the Brighton Sailing Club, the Explorers and Kayak clubs in the Arches right beside this site, down on the beach and all the lovely catamarans lining the beach, that message: ‘get your classy seaside pursuit here! The seaside is about water and beaches and we have the Palace Pier area for the fairground rides.

    Destroying the historic context and image of that part of the seafront so that Regency Square and the Grand and Metropole hotels lose credibility is not my idea of regeneration.

    At this afternoon’s Planning, Economy & Regeneration meeting, when talk turned to getting a new West Pier as well as the i360, planning strategy officer, Rob Fraser, tried to calm that idea by giving it that he sees this doughnut on a pole as a “vertical pier”. Nuff said.

  2. Selma Montford Reply

    I once asked Marks Barfield what sort of jobs would be generated by the i360,he said cafe jobs, when pressed he said that they would be seasonal, poorly paid and part time. We should be told the what the full time eqivalent would be.

    There is absolutely no guarantee that the i360 would fund a newly built pier.

  3. david joned Reply

    i haven’t been to Brighton for many years, but have some great memories. When this tower is built, my family will definately be returning for a summer holiday. we loved the wheel in London – and really look forward to visiting the tower – which we learned has been designed by the same star architects! it’s great news that Brighton has at long last come up with a great new attraction.
    good look everyone involved in the project.

  4. Mr Smith Reply

    i wonder if his returned to brighton since he wrote here in Brighton and hove news site .. david joned check back soon its about to be given the “GREEN LIGHT ”
    but what about that 36££££££million its 36ooooooooo not i36oHhh

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