Cost of Brighton i360 doubles to £46m

Posted On 27 Feb 2014 at 6:03 pm

The cost of building the i360 on Brighton seafront has more than doubled, with the final bill now estimated to be more than £46 million.

The Latest website reported that the sum was included in a heap of commercially sensitive information presented to Brighton and Hove councillors before they make a decision whether to support the attraction next week.

When plans for the 175-metre tower were given planning consent in 2006 the architects and developer Marks Barfield said that it would cost between £15 million and £20 million to build.

But Latest said that the total final cost would be £46.23 million.

Council covid support

Most of this would come from a £36 million government loan drawn down by Brighton and Hove City Council and handed straight over to the developer.

This would be repaid with interest over a period of more than 25 years.

Councillors will vote on whether to support this proposal at a crunch meeting of the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday (6 March).

i360-01A further £3 million will come from Coast to Capital, the area’s local enterprise partnership, with the rest coming from private funding.

Green and Conservative councillors are expected to support the loan plan but Labour is firmly against.

As revealed by Latest earlier this week, the Tories supported the plan only after a discussion among its councillors on Monday night (24 February).

Of the 18 Conservative councillors, five were against. The Latest website said those opposing the scheme were Mary Mears, Lynda Hyde, David Smith, Geoff Wells and Dawn Barnett.

Councillor Smith said: “I’m not against the i360 but totally against the city council being involved in the financing.”

Councillor Mears said: “Though I support the concept of the i360, they have failed to secure private finance.”

Councillor Wells said: “With big business people uninterested in ploughing money into the i360 in my opinion this could well go pear-shaped leaving local taxpayers picking up a very big bill.”

Councillor Barnett, who represents Hangleton and Knoll, said: “I’ve got a four-year-old great grandson and he’ll be nearly 30 before it’s paid back.

“I think it’s too much money and too much of a risk.

“That money could go towards building a new leisure centre.”

Councillor David Smith

Councillor David Smith

Details on the loan and how it will be repaid are expected to be set out tomorrow (Friday 28 February).

Latest reports that a deal would give the council 1 per cent of all ticket sales for the attraction, which developers believe will draw in up to 800,000 people a year.

The council is also reported to be in line to receive £1 million in fees as well as a profit on the loan.

The council can borrow at a lower rate from the Public Works Loan Board than the commercial rate that it would charge the i360 developer.

It is understood that the difference could be as much as 3 per cent.

The council could receive a further six-figure sum as new government rules mean that it will keep part of the extra business rates generated.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “The i360 developers have shown they can deliver successful tourist attractions elsewhere and we believe they can do the same here.

“Not only will Brighton and Hove get a landmark that will put us on the international map, and bring additional visitors to our city – but it will regenerate an area where businesses are struggling.

“That’s why the i360 has strong support from local residents and businesses.

“To help bring this positive project move forward, we are working hard to get the best deal possible for the city and will be able to share more information about the proposals at the end of the week.”

  1. Mr Smith Reply

    WOW i hope that it really will look like its artists impression . The rusting steel shafts that are apparently visible on the architect’s website already manufactured ? The steelwork will be erected by Hollandia, who built the London Eye’s steel structure. Hollandia is Holland’s largest steelwork supplier. see link >> http://www.marksbarfield.com/#/projects/brighton-i360/?filter=date&layout=gallery&gallery=construction&image=4
    WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY REFERENCE TO THIS PROJECT ??? http://www.hollandia.biz/en/
    is it really going to be a tall wind turbine
    The total annual energy required to operate and run the i360 is estimated to be 500,000 kilowatt-hours, of which 35,000 kilowatt-hours will come from the wind turbine generator. For each of the 800,000 visitors expected each year the electrical energy use will therefore be less than 1 kilowatt-hour.
    wow the green party will be pleased about that lets hope the Starlings dont all get disturbed by the whirling wind turbine >> A new study found no evidence for “wind turbine syndrome” where the wind farms directly cause a host of health problems such as headaches, nausea and panic attacks.
    But the swishing sound caused by wind turbines can be a problem for certain people, causing sleep deprivation and even mental health problems. * research back in 2010 *

    i am looking forward to this being erected ” being a fad for a while” every night fireworks like the photos on the official site ‹(◕‿◕)›
    http://www.brightoni360.co.uk/index.html
    how many people are riding on the Brighton wheel at the moment ?

    ####################
    this is funny
    ####################
    Visitors will enjoy unparalleled 360-degree panoramic views giving a new perspective of Brighton and Hove – with its Regency squares, Grade II listed Victorian pier, seafront and Royal Pavilion.
    On a clear day, people will be able to see for 25 miles, to Eastbourne in the east and Bognor Regis in the west, taking in views of the South Downs National Park and the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. It will also offer unique views of the proposed Rampion Offshore Windfarm .!!! it say in the official website
    BUT are over 50% of the viewing pod facing the sea ?WOW it will not spin around it just goes up and down for 20 minutes viewing …

  2. Mr Smith Reply

    WOW i hope that it really will look like its artists impression . The rusting steel shafts that are apparently visible on the architect’s website already manufactured ? The steelwork will be erected by Hollandia, who built the London Eye’s steel structure. Hollandia is Holland’s largest steelwork supplier. see link >> http://www.marksbarfield.com/#/projects/brighton-i360/?filter=date&layout=gallery&gallery=construction&image=4
    WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY REFERENCE TO THIS PROJECT ??? http://www.hollandia.biz/en/
    is it really going to be a tall wind turbine
    The total annual energy required to operate and run the i360 is estimated to be 500,000 kilowatt-hours, of which 35,000 kilowatt-hours will come from the wind turbine generator. For each of the 800,000 visitors expected each year the electrical energy use will therefore be less than 1 kilowatt-hour.
    wow the green party will be pleased about that lets hope the Starlings dont all get disturbed by the whirling wind turbine >> A new study found no evidence for “wind turbine syndrome” where the wind farms directly cause a host of health problems such as headaches, nausea and panic attacks.
    But the swishing sound caused by wind turbines can be a problem for certain people, causing sleep deprivation and even mental health problems. * research back in 2010 *

    i am looking forward to this being erected ” being a fad for a while” every night fireworks like the photos on the official site ‹(◕‿◕)›
    http://www.brightoni360.co.uk/index.html
    how many people are riding on the Brighton wheel at the moment ?

    ####################
    this is funny
    ####################
    Visitors will enjoy unparalleled 360-degree panoramic views giving a new perspective of Brighton and Hove – with its Regency squares, Grade II listed Victorian pier, seafront and Royal Pavilion.
    On a clear day, people will be able to see for 25 miles, to Eastbourne in the east and Bognor Regis in the west, taking in views of the South Downs National Park and the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. It will also offer unique views of the proposed Rampion Offshore Windfarm .!!! it say in the official website
    BUT are over 50% of the viewing pod facing the sea ?WOW it will not spin around it just goes up and down for 20 minutes viewing …

  3. Mr Smith Reply

    WOW i hope that it really will look like its artists impression . The rusting steel shafts that are apparently visible on the architect’s website already manufactured ? The steelwork will be erected by Hollandia, who built the London Eye’s steel structure. Hollandia is Holland’s largest steelwork supplier. see link >> http://www.marksbarfield.com/#/projects/brighton-i360/?filter=date&layout=gallery&gallery=construction&image=4
    WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY REFERENCE TO THIS PROJECT ??? http://www.hollandia.biz/en/
    is it really going to be a tall wind turbine
    The total annual energy required to operate and run the i360 is estimated to be 500,000 kilowatt-hours, of which 35,000 kilowatt-hours will come from the wind turbine generator. For each of the 800,000 visitors expected each year the electrical energy use will therefore be less than 1 kilowatt-hour.
    wow the green party will be pleased about that lets hope the Starlings dont all get disturbed by the whirling wind turbine >> A new study found no evidence for “wind turbine syndrome” where the wind farms directly cause a host of health problems such as headaches, nausea and panic attacks.
    But the swishing sound caused by wind turbines can be a problem for certain people, causing sleep deprivation and even mental health problems. * research back in 2010 *

    i am looking forward to this being erected ” being a fad for a while” every night fireworks like the photos on the official site ‹(◕‿◕)›
    http://www.brightoni360.co.uk/index.html
    how many people are riding on the Brighton wheel at the moment ?

    ####################
    this is funny
    ####################
    Visitors will enjoy unparalleled 360-degree panoramic views giving a new perspective of Brighton and Hove – with its Regency squares, Grade II listed Victorian pier, seafront and Royal Pavilion.
    On a clear day, people will be able to see for 25 miles, to Eastbourne in the east and Bognor Regis in the west, taking in views of the South Downs National Park and the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. It will also offer unique views of the proposed Rampion Offshore Windfarm .!!! it say in the official website
    BUT are over 50% of the viewing pod facing the sea ?WOW it will not spin around it just goes up and down for 20 minutes viewing …

  4. David Reply

    Who actually wants this. ? Who actually believes that 800,000 people will want to go up it every year for the next 30 to pay back the cost?

    Legalised corruption.

  5. David Reply

    Who actually wants this. ? Who actually believes that 800,000 people will want to go up it every year for the next 30 to pay back the cost?

    Legalised corruption.

  6. David Reply

    Who actually wants this. ? Who actually believes that 800,000 people will want to go up it every year for the next 30 to pay back the cost?

    Legalised corruption.

  7. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Disappointing to see Cllr Kitcat putting out misinformation about public support. All articles are followed by wholesale condemnation of the i360 an the loan.

    In 2006 there was support. Not now. Where is Cllr Kitcat’s evidence of current support for either i360 or the proposed obscenity of the £36m loan to a firm unable to cobble more than £6m for itself to invest. It is a commercial no-no.

    If The West Pier Trust had done its job and got itself a closed contract that gave a termination option or expiry date, if BHCC had not rescued the expiring planning consent in 2009 (sayng development had commenced after they removed a few bits of metal from the seabed)then Marks Barfield and the development company vehicle would not now be sitting tenants that nobody can get rid of on our seafrnt.

    This is a blackmailing situation and the developers are refusing to go away. Simple as that.

  8. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Disappointing to see Cllr Kitcat putting out misinformation about public support. All articles are followed by wholesale condemnation of the i360 an the loan.

    In 2006 there was support. Not now. Where is Cllr Kitcat’s evidence of current support for either i360 or the proposed obscenity of the £36m loan to a firm unable to cobble more than £6m for itself to invest. It is a commercial no-no.

    If The West Pier Trust had done its job and got itself a closed contract that gave a termination option or expiry date, if BHCC had not rescued the expiring planning consent in 2009 (sayng development had commenced after they removed a few bits of metal from the seabed)then Marks Barfield and the development company vehicle would not now be sitting tenants that nobody can get rid of on our seafrnt.

    This is a blackmailing situation and the developers are refusing to go away. Simple as that.

  9. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Disappointing to see Cllr Kitcat putting out misinformation about public support. All articles are followed by wholesale condemnation of the i360 an the loan.

    In 2006 there was support. Not now. Where is Cllr Kitcat’s evidence of current support for either i360 or the proposed obscenity of the £36m loan to a firm unable to cobble more than £6m for itself to invest. It is a commercial no-no.

    If The West Pier Trust had done its job and got itself a closed contract that gave a termination option or expiry date, if BHCC had not rescued the expiring planning consent in 2009 (sayng development had commenced after they removed a few bits of metal from the seabed)then Marks Barfield and the development company vehicle would not now be sitting tenants that nobody can get rid of on our seafrnt.

    This is a blackmailing situation and the developers are refusing to go away. Simple as that.

  10. Alan Reply

    I would like to know why the majority of the Tory councillors are supporting this. Without their support the Green’s could not go ahead with this project. No credible justification from the Tories means no vote for them at the next election from me.

  11. Alan Reply

    I would like to know why the majority of the Tory councillors are supporting this. Without their support the Green’s could not go ahead with this project. No credible justification from the Tories means no vote for them at the next election from me.

  12. Alan Reply

    I would like to know why the majority of the Tory councillors are supporting this. Without their support the Green’s could not go ahead with this project. No credible justification from the Tories means no vote for them at the next election from me.

  13. John Reply

    800,000 per a year huh?
    What does that mean? – simplistically 2191 visitors per day, every day.
    OK good for business you would think.
    However how do these visitors get there – no adjacent bus service – nearest is Western Road – is that why the traders in Preston Street think it is a good thing? More likely most will come by car – nearest car park is Regency car park which on most days is full by about 11 in my experience and then the Churchill square area car parks which might have a few spaces from time to time but it is expensive to park there. Some will come on foot or by train and then foot but I suspect that most will be people who would visit Brighton anyway, so very few “new” visitors then. The London Eye is not credited with bringing “new” visitors to London is it?
    As for the so-called government loan remember that the government only gets it’s money via taxation and that means that you and I end up paying for this folly either way. If the developers are only prepared to take a small investment risk by burdening Brighton with the majority of it then it sounds like they do not believe their own business case.

  14. John Reply

    800,000 per a year huh?
    What does that mean? – simplistically 2191 visitors per day, every day.
    OK good for business you would think.
    However how do these visitors get there – no adjacent bus service – nearest is Western Road – is that why the traders in Preston Street think it is a good thing? More likely most will come by car – nearest car park is Regency car park which on most days is full by about 11 in my experience and then the Churchill square area car parks which might have a few spaces from time to time but it is expensive to park there. Some will come on foot or by train and then foot but I suspect that most will be people who would visit Brighton anyway, so very few “new” visitors then. The London Eye is not credited with bringing “new” visitors to London is it?
    As for the so-called government loan remember that the government only gets it’s money via taxation and that means that you and I end up paying for this folly either way. If the developers are only prepared to take a small investment risk by burdening Brighton with the majority of it then it sounds like they do not believe their own business case.

  15. John Reply

    800,000 per a year huh?
    What does that mean? – simplistically 2191 visitors per day, every day.
    OK good for business you would think.
    However how do these visitors get there – no adjacent bus service – nearest is Western Road – is that why the traders in Preston Street think it is a good thing? More likely most will come by car – nearest car park is Regency car park which on most days is full by about 11 in my experience and then the Churchill square area car parks which might have a few spaces from time to time but it is expensive to park there. Some will come on foot or by train and then foot but I suspect that most will be people who would visit Brighton anyway, so very few “new” visitors then. The London Eye is not credited with bringing “new” visitors to London is it?
    As for the so-called government loan remember that the government only gets it’s money via taxation and that means that you and I end up paying for this folly either way. If the developers are only prepared to take a small investment risk by burdening Brighton with the majority of it then it sounds like they do not believe their own business case.

  16. Jax Reply

    Jason Kitkat says things that suit his purposes. His figures of public support are always at odds with what residents actually feel. Surveys & questionaires can be filled in by people with no proof of residency in this area…organisations are cherry-picked & sent details of where to fill in the forms (e.g Cycling clubs nationwide)- it is farcical

  17. Jax Reply

    Jason Kitkat says things that suit his purposes. His figures of public support are always at odds with what residents actually feel. Surveys & questionaires can be filled in by people with no proof of residency in this area…organisations are cherry-picked & sent details of where to fill in the forms (e.g Cycling clubs nationwide)- it is farcical

  18. Jax Reply

    Jason Kitkat says things that suit his purposes. His figures of public support are always at odds with what residents actually feel. Surveys & questionaires can be filled in by people with no proof of residency in this area…organisations are cherry-picked & sent details of where to fill in the forms (e.g Cycling clubs nationwide)- it is farcical

  19. Steve Parker Reply

    Why has the cost doubled??? Were the original figures a wild guess, were they wrong?? Or has the price of steel doubled. Or is it that with a source of Money now available the need for a bigger trough is recognised??? Roll up and see the shiny white elephant. Snouts in the trough please !!!!

  20. Steve Parker Reply

    Why has the cost doubled??? Were the original figures a wild guess, were they wrong?? Or has the price of steel doubled. Or is it that with a source of Money now available the need for a bigger trough is recognised??? Roll up and see the shiny white elephant. Snouts in the trough please !!!!

  21. Lauren Sutton Reply

    Taking into account the magnificent hard work that the Green Council have put into realising this project, and the fantastic amounts of revenue that the i360 will generate, I think the travel pod (the doughnut-shaped part that travels up-and-down the shaft of the i360) should have the faces of ALL of Brighton’s Green councillors displayed on it’s base, and pictures of their faces should be illuminated at night.

    I have voted for, and have worked for the Green party ever since I started university at Sussex and the i360 has never made me more proud to be a member of the Green party.

    The i360 will be a WONDERFUL benefit to the people of Brighton

  22. Ben Davies Reply

    I cannot believe that they will get half that number.
    How is the wheel doing? are they struggling to cope with numbers?

    2191 a day every day, that’s something like 6 hrs operating at full capacity every day also unlikely.

    It is yet another vanity project that will cost more to run and maintain than make.
    what’s the cost estimate of annual maintenance?
    Really the view is poor, its not like London with a mass of spectacular historic buildings, go up in the wheel and you will see.

    I am local, i don’t support it in any shape or form.

    Public enquiry, or lets vote on it! thats a novel idea in a democracy.

  23. saveHOVE Reply

    Ben Davies, you may not be aware that whilst BHCC agreed to the principle of borrowing to lend to get i360 built the actuality is still ahead. The P&R mtg agenda gives a target of May for finalising the loan agreement between itself and Brighton i360 Ltd and presumably for also making sure the Public Works Loan Board will agree to lend the money.

    Towards the end of March, the PWLB confirmed to saveHOVE that they had not dealt with anything from BHCC since 2012. There is time yet for the public voice to be heard where it counts now – at the PWLB.

    Every time someone signs the petition asking them not to loan the money, the PWLB is notified of their having signed. The petition can be accessed here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/public-works-loan-board-uk-please-refuse-the-bhcc-loan-request-for-36-2m-for-onward-lending-to-brighton-i360-ltd-to-build-the-i360-on-brighton-s-seafront

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