A special council meeting will take place to discuss how it can get money owed by the Brighton i360 “as quickly as possible”.

Councillors from Brighton and Hove City Council will consider and discuss a new business plan and recovery strategy by the seafront landmark in a meeting after missing a loan repayment due at the end of the last year.

Documents set to be presented to councillors at a special budget meeting on Thursday reveal that, as of December 31 last year, The i360 Company owes more than £44 million.

The document said that the loan “represents a financial risk” for the council.

Although the loan was restructured in July last year, the landmark missed a £900,000 payment due in December.

The 531ft (162m) tall observation tower is one of the most visited paid-for attractions in the city, welcoming more than 1.8 million visitors since it opened in August 2016 and making an annual contribution to the local economy of £29.9 million.

However, the landmark’s original business case overestimated the number of paying visitors it would attract each year, leading to a shortfall of funds to repay its loan from the council.

A council spokesman said that, while it isn’t unusual for a business to reschedule loan repayments in the short-term, “Covid and now the cost of living crisis has depressed visitor numbers and further impacted revenue”.

“We are focused on getting the money owed as quickly as possible,” the spokesman.

The i360's original business case, accidentally handed to The Argus by council officials, projected that the attraction would receive £11 million in total revenue in 2018 but, in reality, its gross revenue for 2018/2019 amounted to just over half that number at £6.3 million.

It was estimated that the tower would make three times the loan repayment due each year, with a margin of repayments reinvested back into the seafront.

The council has so far received just over £960,000 of fees from the i360 for the arrangement of the original £36 million loan from the government's Public Works Loan Board, approved by councillors in 2014.

The money was spent on landscaping council-owned property around the attraction.

Councillors will decide the best way forward in a special meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee later next week.

The viewing tower offers passengers views along the south coast towards Beachy Head and the Isle of Wight, the English Channel and the Rampion offshore windfarm, as well as across the South Downs National Park.

Brighton i360 was approached for comment.