It has been announced today that Brighton’s newest tourist attraction, which is expected to be completed next summer, will be known as the ‘British Airways i360’ after securing a sponsorship deal with the country’s largest airline company.
Plans for the 162m structure that stands on the city’s coastline were first submitted in 2006 and when completed ten years later in 2016, the observation tower will have roughly cost £48.2m to erect, meaning the five-year deal with British Airways is a welcome addition of income to support the expensive project.
British Airways fly to 67 destinations from Gatwick Airport and employ over 2,500 members of staff from the surrounding areas of Sussex. These two elements are pivotal factors in BA’s sponsorship agreement with the giant structure that is yet to reveal its giant pod that will give the public breathtaking views of the county and the English Channel.
Lynne Embleton, BA’s director of strategy, told The Argus: “Our pilots enjoy spectacular views of the Sussex coastline as they fly in and out of Gatwick, and now Brighton visitors and residents will also be able to from this fantastic landmark.”
David Marks and Julia Barfield are the creators of the unique structure, having also designed the world famous London Eye that is visited by millions of people each year. Members of the West Pier Trust hope the revenue made from the i360’s creation can go towards rebuilding the derelict West Pier that sits at the foot of the thin structure.
The Brighton Wheel is due to close once the i360 is open for business next year, the West Pier remains helpless alongside the Palace Pier that seems to be losing its charm and homeless figures across the city continue to rise.
It does make you wonder, could £46.2m have been better spent elsewhere? What do you think?