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Brighton's new i360 tower attraction 'back on track'?

Image: The i360 may now be complete in two years

The development of Brighton's new 175m (574ft)-tall viewing tower attraction on the UK's south coast could be back on track with the help of government and local authority support.

Marks Barfield, which conceived the London Eye attraction and is behind the proposed new i360 tower, has currently raised £18m (US$29.1m, EUR22.2m) towards the scheme.

The Coast to Coast Capital Local Enterprise Partnership - a government fund established to promote economic growth - has also agreed to provide a £3m (US$4.9m, EUR3.7m) loan.

Meanwhile, Brighton and Hove City Council is to consider plans to kick-start the scheme by borrowing funding in order to provide a secured loan worth £14m (US$22.7m, EUR17.2m).

If the local authority's cabinet approves the proposals, the development could be restarted in the next three months, with the city's new tourist attraction complete inside two years.

Construction work had initially commenced in late 2008 and it is thought that up to 800,000 tourists will visit the tower a year, worth more than £5m (US$6.5m, EUR4.9m) to the city.

The local authority is also expected to receive 1 per cent of ticket revenues and interest on its loan, which will be repaid over 12 years using i360 profits generated by the developer.

David Marks of Marks Barfield said: "The loan from Coast to Capital and the backing from Brighton and Hove City Council, if it is agreed, will unlock the project, which had stalled as a result of the reluctance of banks to lend in current market conditions."

France-based cable car company Poma - responsible for the 32 capsules on the London Eye - is also involved with the scheme.

Details: www.brightoni360.co.uk

Image: The i360 may now be complete in two years The development of Brighton's new 175m (574ft)-tall viewing tower attraction on the UK's south coast could be back on track with the help of government and local authority support. Marks Barfield, which conceived the London Eye attraction and is behind the proposed new i360 tower, has currently raised £18m (US$29.1m, EUR22.2m) towards the scheme. The Coast to Coast Capital Local
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