27 March 2014

Business and community support for i360 tower

Business leaders and Hove Civic Society have voiced strong support for Brighton’s i360 viewing tower project.

Work on the 170m attraction is expected to start this summer after the city council agreed to borrow £36m from the government to lend onto the project.  It would be repaid over 25 years earning the city council £1m a year to help pay for repairs to the city’s crumbling seafront, which could cost £70m.

Helmut Lusser, Chairman, of Hove Civic Society said: “Apart from tidying up this part of the seafront and being a fine piece of architecture in itself it will provide an important additional attraction to Brighton & Hove. That means more footfall, more turnover, more business, which is exactly what we need to support the local economy.”

Tony Mernagh, chief executive of the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership said:  “Like all councils, Brighton & Hove is faced with massive cuts in its funding from central government; £100m over the next four years. If it is to stand any chance at all of providing more than just social care and refuse collection, it has to start generating huge amounts of additional income. That means entering into commercial agreements to deliver a profit. That is the reality of the new public sector landscape. It is the new normal. This, for instance, is the only way that money will be generated for things like the repair of the seafront arches estimated to cost something in the region of £70m.”

Angelo Martinoli owner of Casalingo restaurant and chairman of Preston Street Traders Association said: “The Association is, and has always been, in favour of the i360 project because an inspiring building of this calibre will offer maximum impact with a minimum disruption to the landscape while offering a unique experience. It will also be the start to a regeneration of the surrounding areas, including the so-neglected Preston Street.”

More support for the project is detailed on the council’s website at http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/planning/major-projects-city/support-i360 The website also has an extensive i360 FAQs section, addressing issues raised recently.