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Brighton's i360 tower to break ground next week

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Construction of the i360 Tower is expected to start next week after project secured £40m of funding

Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the i360 Tower got the green light in earlier this year after Brighton and Hove City Council provided £36.2m in the form of loans with the Local Enterprise Partnership Coast to Capital giving another £4million to the project.

Dutch contractor Hollandia, France’s Poma and Jacobs Engineering Group are working with local civil contractor JT Mackley and structural engineers Hemsley Orrell Partnership (HOP) to construct the tower.

David Marks and Julia Barfield, creators of the Brighton i360 and the London Eye, said, ‘We have the opportunity to create something truly unique and of international renown here in Brighton and Hove. We are excited to be working again with this top team and we all look forward to seeing the opening of the attraction in summer 2016.’

David Marks and Julia Barfield, the husband and wife architects who designed the London Eye, are investing £6million of their own money into the i360 project.

Standing at 175m tall the i360 Tower will be taller than the London Eye and allow views for 25 miles in either direction from Bognor Regis in the west to Eastbourne to the east.

Visitors would ascend the tower in an aerodynamically shaped pod which would take 20 minutes to rise gradually to a height of 138 metres before descending using a ‘vertical cable car’ mechanism. The tower is also expected to be used for corporate events and would be licenced for weddings and civil partnerships.

The tower originally won planning permission in 2006 but had lain on the drawing board through lack of funding.

The tower is located in the same site as Brighton’s former West Pier, which was largely destroyed by fire in 2003 and has subsequently fallen into the sea.

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