Brighton's i360 misses target funding date

ATTRACTION: How the i360 will look

ATTRACTION: How the i360 will look

First published in News by

The developer of a major tourist attraction has missed its target to secure crucial financial backing for the project.

Last year Brighton and Hove City Council agreed to loan almost £15 million to kick-start the i360 scheme.

Plans for the £38 million, 183-metre viewing tower near the West Pier were first unveiled six years ago.

The council-backed loan to developer Marks Barfield was due to be signed off by Tuesday ahead of the authority’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting next Thursday, but the final details of the agreement have yet to be hammered out.

Marks Barfield said discussions were ongoing.

Director David Marks said: “There was a target date but we are still in discussion. It’s very complicated.

“We have been very careful not to set an absolute deadline because that would give the perception that we have missed something.

“We are in the process of reaching agreement. I very much hope construction will start this quarter but I am reluctant to give a date.

“There are a lot of partners in the deal and a lot of documents which have to be signed at the same time. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “It was a working target, but financial close is always complex and it is not unusual for it to slip as lawyers and accountants get involved.

“There has always been an element of flexibility over the dates due to the number of stakeholders and complexity of the project.

“We are committed to working with Marks Barfield to get work started on site, with the aim of the i360 opening in spring 2015.”

Meanwhile Brighton businessman John Regan said he has formed a consortium to help develop the West Pier in partnership with the i360.

Mr Regan said he has drawn up detailed plans which he will discuss with Marks Barfield.

He said: "A new West Pier has the ability to become one of the principal expressions of the city’s vision, transmitting the authentic values of beauty, quality, confidence and integrity.”

Comments (20)

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4:15pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Lady Smith says...

Oh well, that's a HUGE surprise...
Oh well, that's a HUGE surprise... Lady Smith
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Morpheus says...

It is always a mistake to set a target when you don't know what you are doing.
It is always a mistake to set a target when you don't know what you are doing. Morpheus
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Thu 17 Jan 13

BornInBrighton1968 says...

More Green Party nonsense; who will rid us of these incompetent idiots?
More Green Party nonsense; who will rid us of these incompetent idiots? BornInBrighton1968
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Thu 17 Jan 13

mimseycal says...

How much it again ... a 14 million so called loan that this green lot offered them? Are we now safe from having our money wasted?
How much it again ... a 14 million so called loan that this green lot offered them? Are we now safe from having our money wasted? mimseycal
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Thu 17 Jan 13

mustaphaLeeko says...

Well, if it's a success, I hope all the naysayers here will eat their words, but I doubt they would.

I'm glad something is going to be built, and it WILL provide jobs for locals, so what's not to like, unless you are one of these old moany keep everything in Brighton Victorian / Regency types!

And yes it's a loan, but a SECURED loan on all the assets of the i360, so stop whingeing people!!!!
Well, if it's a success, I hope all the naysayers here will eat their words, but I doubt they would. I'm glad something is going to be built, and it WILL provide jobs for locals, so what's not to like, unless you are one of these old moany keep everything in Brighton Victorian / Regency types! And yes it's a loan, but a SECURED loan on all the assets of the i360, so stop whingeing people!!!! mustaphaLeeko
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Reporter1 says...

Gosh, I am deeply shocked. Really thought this might be going somewhere. NOT!
Gosh, I am deeply shocked. Really thought this might be going somewhere. NOT! Reporter1
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Angryoldman says...

Maybe it should be renamed the pie in the sky.
Maybe it should be renamed the pie in the sky. Angryoldman
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Bristol VR says...

Right.... it's time now to ditch this ridiculous waste of money and call it a day. If there was proper intent to build this thing, it would have been built by now and all this fannying about with the idea is just making our city a complete laughing stock.
I don't give a fig who is in power in the City Hall, they just need now to chuck this whole thing in the bin and stop this nonsense!
Right.... it's time now to ditch this ridiculous waste of money and call it a day. If there was proper intent to build this thing, it would have been built by now and all this fannying about with the idea is just making our city a complete laughing stock. I don't give a fig who is in power in the City Hall, they just need now to chuck this whole thing in the bin and stop this nonsense! Bristol VR
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Thu 17 Jan 13

HJarrs says...

How times have changed. Today I read about a fraudster who, with a bit of front, raised £750 mil in the boom and AIB are nursing a £60 mil loss.

I hope this delay represents the more conservative and sensible lending environment that we have today. If it does look risky, then public money should be withdrawn.
How times have changed. Today I read about a fraudster who, with a bit of front, raised £750 mil in the boom and AIB are nursing a £60 mil loss. I hope this delay represents the more conservative and sensible lending environment that we have today. If it does look risky, then public money should be withdrawn. HJarrs
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Thu 17 Jan 13

mimseycal says...

I.m in complete agreement ... This was first approved by the council back in 2006. It was a ludicrous idea then and it hasn't improved over the years.

If you haven't managed to sort out the funding by now, you are not going to.

I wonder how much this non-starter has cost us to date ...
I.m in complete agreement ... This was first approved by the council back in 2006. It was a ludicrous idea then and it hasn't improved over the years. If you haven't managed to sort out the funding by now, you are not going to. I wonder how much this non-starter has cost us to date ... mimseycal
  • Score: 0

4:32am Fri 18 Jan 13

Pebbles says...

Odd that my from eariler today comment seems to have been deleted??

Anyway...

As I stated a couple of times before.. this will never be built... and I was told by someone that I would "...eat my words..." or to that effect.

I hope it does it built.. but it never will..

“We have been very careful not to set an absolute deadline because that would give the perception that we have missed something. "

This quote could have come directly from 'Yes, Prime Minister' ;)
Odd that my from eariler today comment seems to have been deleted?? Anyway... As I stated a couple of times before.. this will never be built... and I was told by someone that I would "...eat my words..." or to that effect. I hope it does it built.. but it never will.. “We have been very careful not to set an absolute deadline because that would give the perception that we have missed something. " This quote could have come directly from 'Yes, Prime Minister' ;) Pebbles
  • Score: 0

4:41am Fri 18 Jan 13

Pebbles says...

Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates.
Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates. Pebbles
  • Score: 0

4:42am Fri 18 Jan 13

Pebbles says...

Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates.
Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates. Pebbles
  • Score: 0

4:43am Fri 18 Jan 13

Pebbles says...

Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates.
Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates. Pebbles
  • Score: 0

4:44am Fri 18 Jan 13

Pebbles says...

Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates.
Ahhh.... I see that this story has been duplicated by the Argus and my original comment was in the first of the duplicates. Pebbles
  • Score: 0

9:20am Fri 18 Jan 13

Crystal Ball says...

Did the £14m cheque from BHCC bounce?
Did the £14m cheque from BHCC bounce? Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Hovite says...

As a local resident I may use the i360 once, and I can see it being popular with tourists during 5 months in the peak season of the year. Even then it will only be worth it when the weather is clear.

The developers and the council believe it will be used by 800,000 people a year, which works out at 2,191 people a day, 365 days a year.

If the weather, visibility and the tourist season half’s it's ideal operational period, it will need 4,383 visitors a day.

I just don't see this happening, who will be blamed for this, the Greens or the council officers who work for and advise them? These officers are the same people that advised the Labour party with this i360 project, the King Alfred Gehry and Black Rock ice rink schemes.

The i360 will fail, the Greens will be long gone and the council officers will continue to advise the next party and will be exempt from the blame of failure once more.

The puppets will come and go but puppeteers will always keep their jobs safe, without any accountability and go on to enjoy their golden pensions.
As a local resident I may use the i360 once, and I can see it being popular with tourists during 5 months in the peak season of the year. Even then it will only be worth it when the weather is clear. The developers and the council believe it will be used by 800,000 people a year, which works out at 2,191 people a day, 365 days a year. If the weather, visibility and the tourist season half’s it's ideal operational period, it will need 4,383 visitors a day. I just don't see this happening, who will be blamed for this, the Greens or the council officers who work for and advise them? These officers are the same people that advised the Labour party with this i360 project, the King Alfred Gehry and Black Rock ice rink schemes. The i360 will fail, the Greens will be long gone and the council officers will continue to advise the next party and will be exempt from the blame of failure once more. The puppets will come and go but puppeteers will always keep their jobs safe, without any accountability and go on to enjoy their golden pensions. Hovite
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Fri 18 Jan 13

heartthrob says...

The greens will get it built as their professional reputation and votes depend on it.

Pie in the sky was a great name suggestion though
The greens will get it built as their professional reputation and votes depend on it. Pie in the sky was a great name suggestion though heartthrob
  • Score: 0

7:59am Sat 19 Jan 13

deanaprior says...

The West Pier Trust managed to keep a prime seafront site as an eye-sore for 25 years with porta-cabins and rusty fences now we have Marks Barfield and John Regan to take over with ridiculous over ambitious plans.
If you cleared the area and renovated the building how much money could have been made from leasing it as a restaurant, shop, pub or arts gallery. How much money has been lost over 25 years.
This is the age of pop-up shops and restaurants no-one wants to risk money in for long term investments that's why the big wheel can be dis-assembled and taken somewhere else.
Here is a perfect site to have a dynamic changing event you could even put the empty plinth here and you could get it sorted in a couple of weeks.
This tower is not going to happen the West Pier must be the most photographed tourist attraction in Brighton and its wasted.
The West Pier Trust managed to keep a prime seafront site as an eye-sore for 25 years with porta-cabins and rusty fences now we have Marks Barfield and John Regan to take over with ridiculous over ambitious plans. If you cleared the area and renovated the building how much money could have been made from leasing it as a restaurant, shop, pub or arts gallery. How much money has been lost over 25 years. This is the age of pop-up shops and restaurants no-one wants to risk money in for long term investments that's why the big wheel can be dis-assembled and taken somewhere else. Here is a perfect site to have a dynamic changing event you could even put the empty plinth here and you could get it sorted in a couple of weeks. This tower is not going to happen the West Pier must be the most photographed tourist attraction in Brighton and its wasted. deanaprior
  • Score: 0

8:29am Sat 19 Jan 13

deanaprior says...

They could buy this one

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-wales-north
-east-wales-13012757
They could buy this one http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-wales-north -east-wales-13012757 deanaprior
  • Score: 0

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