Brighton i360 admits it hasn’t sought a rent reduction as it wins debt deferral

Posted On 28 Jun 2018 at 4:44 pm

A director of the Brighton i360 admitted this afternoon that the business had not sought a rent reduction.

The revelation came as four i360 directors, seeking to defer loan interest payments, answered questions from members of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty asked whether the company had asked its landlord, the West Pier Trust, for a rent reduction.

Dick Russell, one of the directors, said: “No, we haven’t asked for a rent reduction. We do have continuing discussions.

“The rent seems to us to be fair and reasonable as it stands. It’s geared to the levels of visitor numbers, subject to a cap of £250,000 a year.

“We’re not thinking of a conversation about the rent level. We do have conversations about other matters.”

Replying to Conservative councillor Steve Bell, Mr Russell said: “We have a 100-year lease from the West Pier Trust. We regard ourselves as fully committed to the West Pier Trust.

“We’ve supported them for many years. We continue to perform our obligations to them.”

Despite the revelation, nine out of ten councillors backed a request to defer a £570,000 payment to the council which falls due on Saturday (30 June). Only Steve Bell abstained.

Councillor Daniel Yates, the Labour council leader, urged colleagues not to get hung up about visitor numbers.

The most important thing, he said, was whether it could service its debts, adding: “This is one of the most serious investments the city has made for many years.”

 

  1. rolivan Reply

    Finally an answer to a question I have been trying to get.The West Pier Trust should be onvestigated because it would appear from the remarks made they were operating whilst insolvent and there would appear to be a conflict of interest between the two.

    • Peter Reply

      There are a LOT of questions that have to be answered with regard to the West Pier Trust and how it has operated over the years….

    • saveHOVE Reply

      The i360 Board also said the West Pier Trust owed THEM money and repayment falls due in the next couple of years.

      The meeting had two thrusts…one was praise for the i360 and the other was unhappiness with the officers not keeping them in the loop until 5 weeks ago.

      I have just done a post on this for the saveHOVE website. A very different report from what the news media will provide. A look at undercurrents in play. Mark Ireland looked so tense and a bit sick.

      • rolivan Reply

        Thank you very informative.

  2. JTV Reply

    Now watch it stagger from pillar to post, leaving nothing but debt in its wake. PULL THE PLUG NOW!! I have just joined the WPT so that I can have a look at whats really going on.

  3. rob Reply

    the law is clear that the land is a harbour.

    West Pier Trust has moved many of the obligations of Brighton West Pier Acts to i360 under a lease of 100 or 125 years (reports are mixed). Some obligations cannot be transferred such as navigation lights, beacons and fees for loading/unloading at the shore.

    BHCC has freehold of land there as well (hence the forced loan due to them being a party to the West Pier Trust lease (I believe))

    The non-negotiation of rent now is is possibly wrapped up the the ‘scandal’ underneath all this and supports the view that the loan was legally strong-armed’ out of BHCC.

    There are three i360 limited companies

    one collect money form naming rights etc which it then lends on prefrentila terms to the i360 ltd managing the pole. This second i360 ltd is the one that we have also lent to (on the least protected terms). The third i360 ltd appears to me to be a firewall in any insolvency and shows payments of approaching £500m to some investors as interest in loans.

    No one I see has checked if the ticket 1% we are owed is going to be paid for the first two years of operation. This is in itself approaching £1m of money I do not believe will be paid on. I can see a loophole that BHCC will point at to cover their own incompetency and i360 to pay off other loans.

    • rolivan Reply

      They have not taken £100m in ticket sales if they had we would not be talking about this because it would mean they would have had about 5 to 6 million visitors.
      I agree with you about the need to look into contractual agreements though.

  4. bradly Reply

    yes, it will be the latest in a long line of bankruptcy in Brighton: cue for a booklet titled “Famous Brighan Bankrupts” ….

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