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| December 10, 2018

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Brighton Palace Pier Boss Demands Council Let Him Run i360

Brighton Palace Pier Boss Demands Council Let Him Run i360
Jack Mitchell-Charman

The suggestion comes amid the i360’s visitor shortfall.

The owners of Brighton’s i360 have recently requested a restructuring of their repayments to the council.

The attraction is still operating at a profit.

However, they suggested that they need more time to boost profit margins and ensure the longevity of the site.

However, Luke Johnson, owner of the Brighton Palace Pier, has other ideas.

He has suggested some radical rethinks in order to boost the i360’s success.

Johnson has made clear his stance on the recent i360 suggestions: “I wish to protest strongly over the arrangement being proposed by the council executive and the struggling i360 attraction.”

He sees the new repayment proposals as preposterous: “you are recommending that the council approve a debt rescheduling which represents a 96 per cent reduction in interest payments for the i360 over the next six years.”

He cites what he sees as the i360’s failings: “Under the current i360 management visitor numbers are roughly half the original projections on which the original loan was based. Given that woeful performance, it is inconceivable that a ‘commercial lender would agree to these restructuring proposals’ – as asserted in your document.”

Johnson currently owns the Palace Pier

The entrepreneur also believes that the i360 is receiving unfair lenience: “Why is the council favouring one particular business? The council would be in breach of its fiduciary responsibilities towards local citizens and businesses if it were to prop up a project which has underperformed so badly.”

Johnson then clarified why he would be able to help: “I have extensive experience of debt restructuring – and in these circumstances the lender would seek to repossess the security and change the management.”

He further clarified his credentials by stating: “We are confident that we could make savings and efficiencies across the two businesses in areas like marketing, procurement, accounting, HR, IT and other administration costs. We are also confident we could cross-market the two attractions and thereby boost visitor numbers and events.”

Johnson is optimistic about the potential his suggestions possess: “This recommendation would give the council a much better chance of earlier receipt of interest and an improved chance that its loan was ultimately repaid in full.”

As of yet, the businessman has not had his proposals properly acknowledged by the council: “It was sent over a week ago. All I’ve had so far is a single line acknowledgement saying that they got it.”

What do you think of these suggestions?

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