i360 loan decision delayed

By Dominic Alves

A decision has been delayed on whether to allow the Brighton i360 to postpone loan payments to Brighton and Hove City Council.

The Labour council leader Daniel Yates said that more time was needed for the proposals to be considered before approval was sought from councillors.

Councillor Yates told the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee that the matter could be brought back to an urgent or special meeting.

The urgency relates to the timing of the next twice-yearly payment from the i360 which is due at the end of the month.

The i360 has attracted fewer visitors than forecast when loans totalling just over £40 million were approved.

The council brokered the main loan – just over £36 million – from the Public Works Loan Board.

There is no suggestion that the i360 will default on its repayments but it wants to defer the fee – about £570,000 every six months – that goes to the council.

It has also asked its other lender – the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – to reduce the rate of interest on its other loan.

The LEP will decide whether to grant the request relating to its £4 million loan at a board meeting early next month.

Councillor Tony Janio, the council’s opposition Conservative group leader, expressed willingness to allow the i360 to defer its payments.

But if visitor numbers picked up, he wanted part payments brought forward on a percentage basis.

  1. rolivan Reply

    I heard the word Default used whilst watching the webcast.They have just over 2 weeks to come up with a solution.Not one Cllr from the Cons or Greens on the Committee today that approved the funding.

  2. Bob Reply

    1% of ticket sales is our money . They are holding first two years with payment due September. Is it safe ? Has this question been asked?

  3. rob Reply

    The council is due to receive 1% of ticket sales in perpetuity to spend on local
    initiatives with about 25% of this sum allocated to fund part of the landscaping works and discussions continue with local organisations about how to spend the remainder

    – so either the first two years there was no 1% agreed or two years is due now of around £1m.
    – assume if cannot afford even £25000 of margin on loan this June to pay £50000 in September then there is no £1m and the figures presented should adjust to reflect that (the £2m or so or benefits has been paid for from ticket sales percentage that is rightly ours).
    – does the agreement include a clause that in the honeymoon years that we would not have the ticket sales percentage. It is not in released paperwork

  4. rolivan Reply

    Will these meetings be held in private now?

  5. Valerie Reply

    …..AND! Has The West Pier Trust agreed to take a hit too? They get £100,000 ground rent from i360. How much cash are they holding ?

    It is their fault this project was ever commissioned so they should waive ALL the ground rent so BHCC can have it instead. Glyn Jones has a lot to answer for – starting with what kind of open-ended contract was given to Marks B to land the city in this mess, even before there was even a planning application (consent 2006).

    • rolivan Reply

      I think you might find they are still paying back money borrowed from Marks Barfield that kept them solvent.I think there needs to be some sort of Commission into who did what and when.We are talking about £40m after all.

  6. Nigel Furness Reply

    Good point, Valerie.
    Seeing as you rightly accused the West Pier Trust, some while ago, of being “squatters on our publicly owned seafront”, I for one would like to know what now is their modus operandi for existing? Their failure to carry out even the most basic maintenance to what has become the now iconic remains of the Pier amounts to nothing more than DELIBERATE DERELICTION.
    I am not alone in thinking that what funds they have should be funnelled into stabilising these remains and illuminating them at night with an imaginative lighting display.This would probably be a bigger tourist draw than the i360.

    • rolivan Reply

      They though they might build a new Pier however with all of this now out in the open I dont know who will support the funding app.
      The problem now is that the i360 is in a very precarious financial state.Perhaps a real Trust could be set up and take over the i360 and The West Pier Trust.

  7. AM Reply

    It can’t pay its bills, in any other world, that means its insolvent!!!!!

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