i360’s new branding divides opinion

Posted On 04 Dec 2015 at 9:38 am

The i360’s new branding, replacing Brighton with British Airways, was revealed with great fanfare last week – but the new name has divided opinion.

The Brighton i360 pictured by Chris Girvan

The Brighton i360 pictured by Chris Girvan

The sponsorship deal has been hailed as proof the attraction is capable of drawing big names to Brighton, and with it tourists and revenue to pay back the £36m loan brokered by Brighton and Hove City Council.

But others are disappointed that Brighton has been dropped from the name – and others that the viewing tower, which is now closely linked in the public eye to the Green administration which approved the loan, is now sponsored by a less than environmentally friendly business.

Tom Druitt, Green spokesperson for economic development and culture said while it was great to see the tower nearing completion, British Airways was a disappointing choice of sponsorship partner.

He said: “We had hoped that the opportunity to secure corporate sponsorship would allow us to work with business interests who were committed to an alternative, more environmentally sustainable future.

“Unfortunately we’ve missed that chance and have instead partnered up with a major player in one of the biggest polluting industries in the world. British Airways was recently rated worst out of all the transatlantic airlines in regards to fuel efficiency. Hardly a model partner.

“We wish to see the i360 prosper, and hopefully as a new business partner in the city, British Airways will play a major supporting role in boosting tourism.

“In return we hope that BA will learn from the highly innovative and socially conscious culture of Brighton and Hove and recognise the huge role it has to play in addressing climate change.”

The dropping of Brighton from the i360’s name has also disappointed. One resident said on Twitter: “I have always viewed i360 positively, but find that now it is the British Airways i360 I am a bit hostile. It has become less “Brighton”

“Is Brighton selling air travel, or the other way around?”

And another said: “Isn’t the i360 part owned by Brighton? Stinks of corporate hijack of our city heritage.

“Our city offers so much more than the flight operator, and should not be for sale. If anything, Brighton raises BA’s profile.

“It is unfair to the people of Brighton when you dropped the name of the city that granted and enabled your existence.”

The i360 team responded by saying: “We believe this is fantastic for Brighton. The deal will help bring in more tourists and build our profile on the international stage.

“British Airways can help grow tourism to Brighton and raise its international profile.”

Meanwhile, resident’s suspicions that the tower is leaning were confirmed last week when engineers told the Argus that it was listing by about 4 inches towards Regency Square.

i360 chief executive Eleanor Harris had told those questioning the apparent lean that it was an optical illusion, and the tower was not a single millimetre out.

Last week, she said: “In engineering of tall towers an invisible 0.0006% difference is considered “straight” (but this difference was news to me).”

  1. rolivan Reply

    Perhaps Tom Druitt should ask His wife how She travelled to Africa and elsewhere if he feels so strongly,I never hear him pushing for a more environmentally friendly Transport system in the City I wonder why?Oh and The Cons had the chance to stop the loan being approved so all of the blame cannot be aimed at the Greens.

  2. Scott South Coast Reply

    One of the best things about Brighton, and in my view why people come is to escape the homogenised corporate drivvle that is forced down our throat from every angle. I hope this is not the start of that, look at Soho, Brick Lane, and god knows how many others that fall foul of similar to their detriment.

    How have rents for the small businesses compared pre and post development there changed? Queue pret / Costa etc. Have I ever seen local spirit or culture improved from such ventures.

    Amex only works as it has heritage in the city for decades.

  3. Gerald Wiley Reply

    I’m surprised Tom (tree sitter) Druitt didn’t recommend his ownenvironmentally friendly “Big Lemon Bus Company” to sponsor the i360 – it could have looked wonderful painted yellow!

  4. JOHN MARTIN Reply

    I am a professional artist and have painted on the seafront for many years.Looking from east to west and using a plumb line ,I can assure all Brighton folk that the tower is leaning, quite considerably towards Regency Square ! Four inches is an underestimate in my view and as for ” an optical illusion , who is this man kidding ?

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.