THE team that created the London Eye met as they prepare to build the Brighton i360.

Preliminary work will begin on the 600 foot, £46 million seafront observation tower next week and firms met at the Hilton Brighton Metropole yesterday to gear up for the start of construction.

Local firms including the civil contractor JT Mackley, based just outside Brighton, and Hemsley Orrell Partnership, based in Hove, bring their local and marine engineering experience to the team. The team also comprises contractors Jacobs Engineering Group Inc , Hollandia from Holland, Poma from France and Marks Barfield architects from London.

JT Mackley will be carrying out the groundwork and building the i360 conference centre.

Tony Camilleri, managing director of JT Mackley, said: “We are very much looking forward to bringing our local knowledge and coastal experience to the project and to working with this international team on what will become a world famous landmark.”

Main contractor Hollandia, which built the London Eye structure, will be responsible for the construction and erection of the steel tower.

David Marks and Julia Barfield, who created the London Eye and are behind the i360 tower, said: “We have the opportunity to create something truly unique and of international renown here in Brighton and Hove.

“We are excited to be working again with this top team and we are all looking forward to seeing the opening of the attraction in summer 2016.”

Workers are expected to break ground at the i360 site late in July.