General News

Mayor cuts ribbon to start i360 development

Besi Besemar July 30, 2014

The Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Cllr Brian Fitch, was joined yesterday on the site of the controversial i360 project by local politicians, business owners and the i360 team.

Mayor cuts the ribbon on i360

The Mayor cut a ribbon to open the newly restored arches between Alfresco Restaurant and the future i360 site, which has undergone extensive restoration creating eight units for independent firms to trade from.

Dignatries present included Leader of Brighton & Hove Council, Cllr Jason Kitcat, former Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council, Glynn Jones, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative group on Brighton & Hove City Council and David Marks, the architect behind the i360 and the London Eye, who put the first ceremonial spade in the ground to formally start the building works for the world’s  first vertical cable car observation tower, which is hoped will attract additional visitors to Brighton.

Cllr Jason KitcatCllr Jason Kitcat, who is not seeking re-election at the local elections in May 2015 said:  “This is a momentous occasion for Brighton & Hove, which will kick start the regeneration of the wider area, both down on the beach and including Preston Street.

“Our seafront is our most important asset that helps make our tourism industry such a great success in Brighton & Hove. Our innovation here will make all the difference to helping the city continue as one of the UK’s most desirable and successful tourist destinations in the years to come. Bold decisions by the council and our partners have made sure this work has happened.”

Cllr Ian Davey
Cllr Ian Davey

Cllr Ian Davey, deputy leader of the city council, who is also not standing for re-election in May 2015, added:  “The restoration of the arches has been carried out as part of ongoing work to strengthen the A259 seafront road by the council’s transport team, with external funding from the Local Transport Plan.

“The arches are stunning, with some really superb businesses already leasing them and helping to make a very special new creative retail quarter on the seafront.”

David Marks
David Marks

David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects, said: “It has taken over eight years to get to this point, but the Brighton i360 will now be a reality and will be one of the most exciting visitor attractions in the world. The i360 will be the world’s first vertical cable car; an engineering wonder and a major new performing arts, conference, dining and hospitality venue for Brighton. It will generate more footfall to this part of Brighton – and we hope bring about the sort of transformation that the London Eye helped create on the South Bank.”

Cllr Warren Morgan
Cllr Warren Morgan

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of the Labour and Cooperative group on Brighton and Hove CIty Council, concluded: “Labour voted against the £36million loan to the i360 underwritten by the council as we felt the risk should have been met mainly by the private sector, not the council taxpayer.

“Now that the Greens and Tories have voted for this to go ahead and construction has started, we sincerely hope that the predictions for visitor numbers for the viewing platform are not over optimistic, and that revenue is enough to pay off the taxpayer loan.”