Architect’s observation tower targets 2015 opening
London Eye designer Marks Barfield is hoping that its scheme to build a £35 million observation tower in Brighton will now open in early 2015.
The 175m high project was given a funding boost by Brighton & Hove City Council last month which agreed to loan the project £15 million to help kickstart work. The loan is formally expected to be signed off next month.
Building work was first scuppered by the recession back in 2008 and has been on hold ever since.
But architect David Marks said the council’s decision meant work on the tower could begin by the end of the year. “We hope to open it in spring 2015,” he added.
The firm has a stake in the running of the scheme, called i360, with other partners on board including the former commercial director of the London Eye, Eleanor Harris, who now runs her own leisure consultancy.
Also part of the scheme will be new shops and restaurants at the base of the tower which will also be designed by Marks Barfield.
The observation tower will travel up to 141m with the ride during the day taking 20 minutes and an extra 10 minutes at night when the pod will be turned into a sky bar.
Marks said the same team that worked on the London Eye had been assembled for the Brighton project including Dutch steelwork firm Hollandia and French pod manufacture Poma.
He added that the firm has been in discussions with officials from the US city of Atlanta about creating something similar to the Brighton scheme over there.
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