i360 – Brighton and Hove’s Eye to the Future

Plans for the existing Pier

The Trust has not given up on the pier and a new West Pier remains its ultimate goal. It is hoped and expected that the i360 and its hundreds of thousands of visitors will generate solid development interest in building a new pier.

i360

A new world-beating landmark is poised to adorn Brighton and Hove’s historic seafront.

The i360, is a slender, elegant observation tower the only one of its kind in the world, that elevates visitors in a pod to a height of 150m above sea level to enjoy stunning views.

The i360 is the brainchild of Marks Barfield, the team behind the London Eye. Since opening, the London Eye has significantly contributed to the regeneration of London’s South Bank and become the most visible and visited icon of London.

Marks Barfield’s vision is that the i360 will do the same for Brighton and Hove.

A new landmark and world first

The i360 is an innovative, aerodynamic and energy-efficient landmark specifically designed for Brighton and Hove; it will give the city:

  • A unique experience
  • A gentle landmark
  • A visitor destination with universal appeal
  • A catalyst for long-term regeneration
  • An appropriate successor to the historic West Pier

Why Brighton?

The i360 is also uniquely fitted, both by its location and inspiration, for Brighton and Hove.  For the first time ever, visitors will be able to enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of Brighton with its Regency architecture as well as the new South Downs National Park. On a clear day, the stunning views will extend up to 25 miles along the South coast.

The West Pier Trust, owners of the land on which it will stand, selected the i360 because they felt it truly captured the spirit of the Pier’s heritage.

Glynn Jones, chairman of the West Pier Trust said: ‘Our challenge was how to uphold the heritage of the pier and promote regeneration of the city seafront.

‘The answer is the i360, a brilliant solution because it is a landmark that will achieve maximum impact with minimum intervention. It resonates perfectly with the city’s landscape, cultural roots and aspirations for the future.’

Economic and Regeneration benefits

The i360 will generate significant economic and financial benefits for Brighton & Hove. Research findings suggest that approximately 750,000 people will visit it every year with about 20% being new visitors to the city, with significant associated benefits to commercial, retail and leisure businesses in the city.  In addition, the i360 will directly generate 160 new full-time jobs locally from the operation.

Timetable and funding

The i360 is fully designed, costed and has planning consent from Brighton & Hove City Council.  The steel has already been purchased, fabricated and rolled.  The approved construction timetable anticipates a 21-month programme.

Significant private funding is already in place and a substantial investment has already been made so far.  Full construction will commence as soon as the balance of the funding, which is being sought from the banking sector,  is in place. Naming rights and sponsorship opportunities are available.

The i360 is planned to be up and running for the summer of 2015. See News for any developments.

Images

Click on one of the images below to view a larger version.
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Find out more

Visit the new i360 website for the latest news on the Marks Barfield development.

Local Responses

The local response to the proposed project, now affectionately nicknamed  the ‘Brighton Eye’, has been enormously positive from all quarters.  Adam Bates, Head of Tourism for Brighton & Hove comments:

“We are thrilled at the prospect of having this elegant 21st century tourist attraction in our city”

Other enthusiastic supporters include Professor Fred Gray, local historian from the University of Sussex:

“The success of the seaside in the 21st century will depend on imaginative and high quality new structures that entertain at the same time as respecting the coastal location.  The Brightoni360 delivers on all these counts, while maintaining the heritage of the glorious West Pier and the specific needs of a crucial site on the Brighton seafront.”

Further endorsement comes from local architect and architectural historian John Wells-Thorpe:

“The proposal has great elegance. The Brighton i360 is a 21st century obelisk that affirms the classical layout of Regency Square.  At only 4 metres wide, it will have  minimal visual impact but achieve maximum effect “.

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