the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 1 March 2014

i360: Grab this opportunity with both hands

The Economic Partnership urges the council’s Policy & Resources committee to agree the funding for the i360 which is not only a fabulous potential addition to Brighton’s tourism offer but also exactly the sort of business deal that the city council should be seeking to offset reduced public sector funding.

The i360 will be one of the most advanced visitor attractions in the world, built by the team behind the hugely successful London Eye. The local authority is being asked to borrow money cheaply from the Public Works Loan Board and lend it at a profit to the i360 company.
The deal will deliver a return to the council £1m in one-off fees, £1m per annum plus 1% of the ticket sales and half of the business rates [the government keep the other half].

Like all councils, Brighton & Hove is faced with massive cuts in its funding from central government; £100m over the next four years. When it has cut everything to the bone, if it is to stand any chance at all of providing more than just social care and refuse collection, it has to start generating huge amounts of additional income. That means entering into commercial agreements to deliver a profit. That is the reality of the new public sector landscape. It is the new normal. This, for instance, is the only way that money will be generated for things like the repair of the seafront arches estimated to cost something in the region of £70m.

Like any commercial venture there will be a risk factor. You don’t earn a profit without taking risks. But the i360 is an exceptionally good risk. The Business Plan, which has been seen by the Economic Partnership and has been independently verified, explores a range of financial scenarios and market projections and paints a picture of a project that is financially sound, exceptionally well planned and pragmatic in its projections. Visitor numbers, which are based on realistic comparisons and assumptions, would have to fall by more than half before the council’s loan was at any risk.

Detractors suggest that the proposed visitor numbers of 700,000 - 822,000 per annum are unrealistic. But with a resident visitor catchment in excess of 15m people and a tourist market of 7m [and increasing] the projections are robust and achievable. If the attraction operated at only 50% capacity for only eight hours a day [which it won't] it would comfortably exceed the target.

Comparisons with Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower are spurious other than it also makes a profit and its construction was delayed, although for entirely different reasons. The Spinnaker was delayed largely because of design issues trying to marry 14,000 tonnes of concrete with 1,200 tonnes of steel on site. The i360’s delay was due to the financial crisis of 2008 and any construction delay once work starts will be minimized by the structure being much simpler to build and most of its component parts being manufactured off-site.

Other than that, the comparisons are weak. Portsmouth is simply not a tourist destination to compare with Brighton and even the location of the Spinnaker within the city is poor compared to the i360’s prominent seafront site minutes from Brighton city centre.

The i360 is one of those developments, like the Brighton Centre thirty years ago, that demonstrates vision and ingenuity on the part of the city’s leaders. Since the revenue that it will generate has also become an essential element of public sector finance, we are lucky to have a developer that wants to build it in Brighton and a elected members prepared to support it. We should grab this opportunity with both hands.

Click here to download i360 Policy & Resources report

Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove City Council
Marks Barfield
West Pier

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


23 May 2018
Gingerman Restaurant Group to Open Restaurant at Hanningtons Estate Brighton
16 May 2018
Can you help us help rough sleepers? Search for a venue to provide shelter 15 May 2018
New Research Reveals Cost of Opening A Business in Brighton: £6,000 11 May 2018
Tech firm SaleCycle to open new office in Brighton, creating 30+ new jobs 4 May 2018
Get involved - National Numeracy Day This 16 May 1 May 2018
Barclays' High Growth & Entrepreneurs Awards 2018 launch to celebrate start-up leaders in the UK 30 April 2018
Barclays launches major drive to help SMEs tackle Cymbercrime 24 April 2018
An evening with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer 24 April 2018
"A triumph of innovation" 13 April 2018
Brighton city Centre Vacancy Rates continue to buck national trend 12 April 2018
The Ivy in the Lanes Set to open 2 May 2018 11 April 2018
Free Dr Bike Service Returns 20 March 2018
Brighton named most entrepreneurial city AND second best for student happiness according to Fresh Student Living 19 March 2018
A Meeting with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer - Why Business Matters 14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS 7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you?