Construction work on Brighton's i360 tower begins

i360 Tower (artist's impression) The tower will have an observation pod giving views of the city from the site of the old West Pier

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Building work on the UK's tallest observation tower outside London has begun on Brighton seafront.

The 530ft (162m) i360 tower is being built with help from Brighton and Hove City Council, which lent £36.2m to the £46.2m project.

A ground breaking ceremony took place at the site on Tuesday.

The architect behind the project, David Marks, called the tower the "son of the London Eye".

"Everyone knows and recognises the huge contribution [made by the London Eye], not just to the Southbank but to the whole of London and the tourist economy," he said.

"This is going to do something very similar here in Brighton, so there's a lot of good reasons to do it."

'Element of risk'

However, Roger Hinton, from the Regency Society, said many people feel the estimate of how many will use the tower is "ambitious".

"A lot of people in the city feel there's an element of risk there," he said.

The council will receive 1% of ticket sales and more than £1m per year in interest on the loan plus business rates.

Work to remove the remains of the West Pier and its columns from the beach to make way for the i360 tower were largely completed in June.

Remains of Brighton pier The remnants of the old pier will be removed from the beach but the sea island will remain

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