Architects behind the Brighton i360 are hopeful it will be open in time for the London Olympics.

Marks Barfield, which is behind the design and financing of the observation tower, believes the West Pier development will be ready for when the 2012 Games get underway.

However, the company admitted it is still “actively pursuing” ways to fund the project.

In June the company admitted it needed another £20million.

Planning permission for the i360 is due to expire on October 25 so work will need to start before that date.

Geoff Lockwood, deputy chairman of the West Pier Trust, said: “Planning permission won't expire as next week they're starting to do the piling work."

A statement from David Marks, from Marks Barfield, said: "This is a short piece of preparatory work."

He added: “There is not yet a detailed timetable for the project but the intention is to have the i360 open in time for the London Olympics.”

The tower will be 150m tall.