Sussex

Brighton i360 seafront tower reaches 'first milestone'

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

Construction of the UK's tallest observation tower outside London has reached its first milestone, according to developers.

Contractors have built a 120-metre (394ft) pipe to divert a Victorian sewer that was blocking the foundations of the i360 on Brighton seafront.

The 530ft (162m) tower is being built with help from Brighton and Hove City Council.

It is hoped the £46.2m structure will be finished by summer 2016.

'Working sewer'

Brighton i360 chief executive Eleanor Harris said: "We've been on site now for about six months.

"The first thing that we did was remove the route end of the West Pier. That was painstakingly removed to make sure that any bits that can be reused in our construction will be.

"The next thing that we've been doing has been moving a Victorian sewer that runs underneath our site, that is still a working sewer.

"Of course we couldn't have the sewer clashing with our foundations that are going to hold up the tower."

The new pipe will be connected to the existing sewer system in December.

Construction of the tower, which has been dubbed "son of the London Eye" by by architect David Marks, started in July following years of funding problems.

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.

The council will receive 1% of ticket sales and more than £1m per year in interest on the £36.2m loan it provided, in addition to business rates.

Image caption The remnants of the old pier have been removed from the beach

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