Loans of £40m agreed for Brighton i360 tower

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

Loans of more than £40m have been agreed to build the UK's tallest observation tower outside London on Brighton seafront.

Brighton and Hove City Council is to lend £36.2m to Brighton i360 Ltd to fund the 530ft (162m) tower.

The money comes from the government's Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). Another £4m loan is being made by Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said the i360 would regenerate the seafront.

Architects David Marks and Julia Barfield are investing £6m in the £46.2m project, whose costs have risen from an estimated £20m when planning permission was granted in 2006.

'Spectacular attraction'

A private backer withdrew £15m from the project in 2012.

Mr Kitcat said the i360 would be a spectacular attraction and was expected to draw over 700,000 additional tourists and up to £25m revenue into the local economy a year.

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 will be completed by the end of the month.

The "sea island" section of the pier will remain.

Image caption The remains of the old pier will be removed from the beach but the sea island will remain

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