THE i360’s bosses may say things are looking up for the attraction, but the ride to this point has been a bit bumpy.

The viewing platform was opened three years ago after construction was funded in part by a £36.4 million loan from the Government-owned Public Works Loans Board.

The board loaned the money to Brighton and Hove City Council, which i360 Ltd now has to repay every June and December over the next 25 years.

But in June this year the council deferred a loan repayment of £1.342 million, the second time it had done so.

The attraction paid just £150,000 of the £1.45 million expected by the council.

A report claimed the payment would be the lowest “before the improved performance starts”.

In a letter to economic chief Mr Hibberd, the i360 board said it had increased marketing spending to £500,000 and appointed a new commercial chief.

It expects more than 360,000 visitors to head to the attraction between March 2019 and March 2020, an increase of 36,000 compared with last year.

The company has increased marketing in the South East and worked with language schools in Brighton to increase awareness of the attraction.

The attraction’s British Airways sponsorship has also been called into question after the airline reduced its payments to i360 Ltd.

The initial five-year deal ends in August 2021 and it is not yet known whether British Airways will renew it.

The attraction, designed by London Eye architect Marks Barfield, was granted planning permission in 2007, but construction did not start until 2012.

It opened in August 2016.

It was originally expected the attraction would see 800,000 visitors in its first financial year, but the actual figure was more than 500,000.

Last year visitor numbers were lower than forecast, in keeping with other Brighton attractions.