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£3m funding bid to boost Brighton's i360 project
1:50pm Monday 2nd April 2012 in In Depth
The Government gave Coast to Capital’s Growing Places Fund the green light in February and increased the allocation to £16,024.526 from £15,083,882.
The funding is for “shovel ready” projects which had been given planning permission but stalled since the credit crunch hit bank lending.
If the bid is successful the council will lend money to the i360 to begin building work.
Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Bill Randall said: “The council would see a financial benefit if this goes ahead. This would create about 180 jobs. It’s also in an area of the city that does need regeneration.”
The i360 is the brainchild of London architect Marks Barfield.
David Marks, boss at the firm, said: “It’s a bit early to pop the champagne corks but it is a step in the right direction. We welcome the development. We are all working extremely hard to make this a reality.”
Millionaire businessman Mike Holland recently shelved his alternative plans to rebuild the West Pier.
He called for a referendum on the future of the West Pier and the Brighton i360.
He said: “Anything positive is a great move and perhaps it takes such a move from Brighton and Hove City Council to ensure that something really will happen.
“However, if the council has £3 million to spend why are they not simply putting it towards a new pier by placing a compulsory purchase order on our pier in the same way that Hastings council have on theirs? I do ask myself a couple of questions.
“What is the significance of £3 million to a structure costing some £36 million and why would the council be happy to just leave the West Pier Trust sitting there, doing nothing about a new pier when that was precisely what they were set up for?
“While it is good to see something positive happening, my concern is that we do something achievable and something that the people of this city really want – I would love to see a referendum in place, let the people who live and work here vote for what they want.”