Brighton and Hove City Council
Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) has acted as a ‘middle man’ for a Public Works Loan Board Loan, which is a central funding pot that can only be used for projects with a commercial return. No council tax has been used and the profit on this loan will earn the Council over £1m per year which has already been used to regenerate the seafront spaces either side of BAi360 and, in July 2017, the council announced it has earmarked £1.1m of money from the BAi360 loan repayments to help fund regeneration of Madeira Terraces (to the East of Brighton Pier).
No council tax revenue has been used to support British Airways i360 and the margin on the loan earns the Council a new income stream of over £1m per year, which councillors have decided should be used to reinvest in the seafront
Brighton & Hove Council benefits financially in three main ways:
– It earns £1m a year in interest on the PWLB loan for the duration of the 25 year loan;
– It earns 1% of BAi360 ticket revenues forever
– It earns business rates from BAi360.
In addition, British Airways i360 has generated new jobs in the city, is helping regenerate the seafront, and is attracting people to the city, benefiting the local economy.
Coast to Capital
The last £4 million for the scheme comes in the form of a loan from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. This is a 7-year loan from the Growing Places Fund. The aim of this fund is to support projects delivering employment growth.
Ron Crank, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital, said, “We immediately recognised the significance of ensuring this iconic project could proceed, enabling Brighton & Hove to remain at the forefront of the UK visitor economy. Our Growing Places Fund has been established to support such loan investments and guarantees the creation and sustainability of local jobs.”
West Pier Trust
Our landlord is the charity, the West Pier Trust. The Grade I listed West Pier was considered the most beautiful pier in Britain. After devastating arson attacks destroyed it in 2003, hopes of restoration were dashed.
British Airways i360 – a ‘vertical pier’ – is considered a fitting replacement for the West Pier, maintaining a dedication to high standards of design and engineering similar to that of the West Pier architect Eugenius Birch. Visitors to British Airways i360 are invited to “walk on air”, much as the Victorians “walked on water” on the West Pier.
British Airways i360 has invested in recreating the two toll booths that stood at the entrance to the original West Pier. Designed in Italianate style, the toll booths were recreated using the same techniques from the 1860’s and now house the British Airways i360 ticket office and West Pier Tea Room.
British Airways i360 provides the Trust with an income stream. This money will be used to help fund the restoration of an iconic 1866 octagonal pier kiosk as a West Pier Heritage Centre. It will also support the Trust’s education work with schools and fund the removal of pier wreckage from the sea bed.
The Trust is also looking at options for a new pier, which meets everyone’s aspirations, is economically viable and will be an elegant addition to the seafront.
Photo credits Adam Bronkhorst, Gary Eastwood, www.visitbrighton.com