Sussex

British Airways sponsors Brighton's i360 seafront tower

i360 tower and pier
Image caption The tower has been built in front of the derelict West Pier

British Airways has signed a five-year deal to hold the naming rights to Brighton's i360 tower.

The 162m (531ft) seafront viewing platform will open in summer and be known as the British Airways i360.

The tower was designed by the team behind the London Eye, which British Airways also initially sponsored.

The airline's director of strategy, Lynne Embleton, said the company will promote the attraction "all over the world".

The cost of the naming rights has been kept secret owing to "commercial sensitivity".

Construction is still ongoing with the glass viewing pod being installed on the tower.

It is being built directly in front of Brighton's derelict West Pier.

Image caption The tower part of the scheme has been completed
Image caption The base of the viewing pod has been installed

A beachfront building where visitors will disembark is also being built and will house a brasserie, cafe and gift shop.

Ms Embleton said: "Brighton is an important place for British Airways - so many of our staff live around here and it's just down the road from Gatwick.

"When we heard of the i360 we wanted to be part of it".

Image copyright i360
Image caption The beachfront building will be home to a cafe and gift shop
Image caption British Airways said it will promote the attraction "all over the world"

Developers hope the tower will attract at least 700,000 visitors per year, making it the city's most popular paid-for attraction.

Up to 200 people will be transported in the viewing pod, with the experiencing lasting 20 minutes during the day and 30 minutes in the evening.

There were plans to add a wind turbine to the top of the tower. However, these have now been scrapped.

The attraction's chief executive, Eleanor Harris, said: "British Airways and the i360 share a similar market regionally in the South East and a comparable international reach.

"We also share a proud history of engineering and design excellence."

If purchased on the door a ticket will cost £15 for adults and £7.50 for children.

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