The ArgusDoes Brighton's i360 have a doppelganger from the 60s? (From The Argus)

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Does Brighton's i360 have a doppelganger from the 60s?

The Argus: Captain Raymond Phillips, Charles Smith-Bingham and John Bickford-Smith examining the model of the Brighton Observation tower – British Pathe Captain Raymond Phillips, Charles Smith-Bingham and John Bickford-Smith examining the model of the Brighton Observation tower – British Pathe

A giant £38 million observation tower has received a funding boost – but how new is the idea?

The i360 , near Brighton’s West Pier , is expected to attract up to 800,000 visitors a year and create more than 400 jobs.

To kick-start the project, Brighton and Hove City Council has agreed to loan the firm, Brighton i360 Ltd, £17.8 million.

This includes £3 million from the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership, an organisation designed to boost business in the region.

However, a reel from British Pathe has emerged with images of a design virtually identical to that of the i360.

In 1964, three entrepreneurs - Captain Raymond Phillips, Charles Smith-Bingham and John Bickford-Smith – gathered to discuss a project in one of their homes.

The reel shows them talking about a proposed Brighton Observation Tower between the town’s two piers.

Historian Geoffrey Mead said: “It was one of the great schemes that Brighton comes up with now and again. I do not think it ever went past the drawing board.”

The Argus was tipped off about the reel by a reader.

Despite those plans failing to come to fruition, Marks Barfield, the firm behind the London Eye, was convinced its i360 plans could work.

The loan agreement for the latest plans received cross-party backing at a meeting of the council’s influential policy and resources committee meeting last week.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “I think this is a great project and I’m very excited by it.

“It’s a big opportunity to regenerate this part of town which is long overdue.”

Coun Kitcat added it was not taxpayers’ money as the council would be borrowing the cash and passing it to the developers under a process in the Government’s Localism Act.

Private backing

The remaining £20 million will come from private backers.

David Marks, of Mark Barfield, said: “The unanimous decision to provide a commercial loan to the i360 means we can create a new way of looking at the city while providing a real lift for the local economy.”

Work is expected to start by the end of this year with the opening set for March 2015.

Businesses have generally backed the idea.

A spokesman for The Grand hotel said: “We’re delighted to see new additions to the range of attractions. It’s a positive addition and a great way to encourage visitors.”

Anne Martin, the general manager of the Palace Pier , said: “Anything that brings business to Brighton seafront is good news. It is a completely different product to the pier so anything that attracts visitors is good for us.”

What do you think about the i360 plans? Write to our letters page, email letters@theargus.co.uk or leave a comment at theargus.co.uk/news

Comments (6)

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6:13pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Bromine Chambers says...

Hah hah, typical of the all-talk-and-no-trou
sers NIMBY-FAIL muppetry which infests this town.
Hah hah, typical of the all-talk-and-no-trou sers NIMBY-FAIL muppetry which infests this town. Bromine Chambers
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Thu 19 Jul 12

PorkBoat says...

Ah yes, the Brighton Skydeck. Was going to be on a spit of land a mile out into sea, was going to be over 1000 feet tall, and would have been the tallest structure of its kind in the world. That never got built either.

"Anne Martin, the general manager of the Palace Pier , said: “Anything that brings business to Brighton seafront is good news. It is a completely different product to the pier so anything that attracts visitors is good for us.” " Except another pier, eh? Stop "arson" about Anne.
Ah yes, the Brighton Skydeck. Was going to be on a spit of land a mile out into sea, was going to be over 1000 feet tall, and would have been the tallest structure of its kind in the world. That never got built either. "Anne Martin, the general manager of the Palace Pier , said: “Anything that brings business to Brighton seafront is good news. It is a completely different product to the pier so anything that attracts visitors is good for us.” " Except another pier, eh? Stop "arson" about Anne. PorkBoat
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Bromine Chambers says...

Careful now, Porkboat. The Argus has a habit of censoring any incendiary comments...
Careful now, Porkboat. The Argus has a habit of censoring any incendiary comments... Bromine Chambers
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Thu 19 Jul 12

bug eye says...

the seafront will not be regenerated until the council put their money where their mouth is and replace the terrible road surface, mismatching pavements, take out the dreadful old planting along the roadside that is stumpy and full of weeds and serves no purpose. gets rid of all the unnecessary street furniture and signage. they need to install state of the art lighting, planting and seating before the seafront will be attractive in any way shape or form. even with the i360 the fabric of the seafront remains a mess. its in the detail kitkat.
the seafront will not be regenerated until the council put their money where their mouth is and replace the terrible road surface, mismatching pavements, take out the dreadful old planting along the roadside that is stumpy and full of weeds and serves no purpose. gets rid of all the unnecessary street furniture and signage. they need to install state of the art lighting, planting and seating before the seafront will be attractive in any way shape or form. even with the i360 the fabric of the seafront remains a mess. its in the detail kitkat. bug eye
  • Score: 0

11:50pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Bromine Chambers says...

they already HAVE spent about a million pounds on "pavement improvements" (well, the Tories did... although we all know the GMB union controls B&HCC...)
they already HAVE spent about a million pounds on "pavement improvements" (well, the Tories did... although we all know the GMB union controls B&HCC...) Bromine Chambers
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Fri 20 Jul 12

Wiggsy says...

PorkBoat wrote:
Ah yes, the Brighton Skydeck. Was going to be on a spit of land a mile out into sea, was going to be over 1000 feet tall, and would have been the tallest structure of its kind in the world. That never got built either. "Anne Martin, the general manager of the Palace Pier , said: “Anything that brings business to Brighton seafront is good news. It is a completely different product to the pier so anything that attracts visitors is good for us.” " Except another pier, eh? Stop "arson" about Anne.
Ha ha indeed; perhaps the owners of the Palace Pier should consider that as the West Pier was built a good number of years before the PP, the WP in fact should be able to rubbish the previous ridiculous objections by the Noble Organisation on this basis alone!!

Of course, whether the WP will ever see the light of day as a tourist attraction to visit remains debatable.
[quote][p][bold]PorkBoat[/bold] wrote: Ah yes, the Brighton Skydeck. Was going to be on a spit of land a mile out into sea, was going to be over 1000 feet tall, and would have been the tallest structure of its kind in the world. That never got built either. "Anne Martin, the general manager of the Palace Pier , said: “Anything that brings business to Brighton seafront is good news. It is a completely different product to the pier so anything that attracts visitors is good for us.” " Except another pier, eh? Stop "arson" about Anne.[/p][/quote]Ha ha indeed; perhaps the owners of the Palace Pier should consider that as the West Pier was built a good number of years before the PP, the WP in fact should be able to rubbish the previous ridiculous objections by the Noble Organisation on this basis alone!! Of course, whether the WP will ever see the light of day as a tourist attraction to visit remains debatable. Wiggsy
  • Score: 0

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