So, come along and see us – there will be a real party atmosphere here with cakes, a live band and face-painting in the afternoon, plus free drinks for customers on the 2pm flight. Will it be your birthday too? If so, we’d like to offer you a free flight on the day to celebrate.*
A year on, not only has British Airways i360 offered inspiration and delight to hundreds of thousands of people; it’s provided some important benefits to this wonderful city.
Most of our funding came from central Government’s Public Works Loan Board – but did you know that Brighton & Hove City Council earns around £1m a year from brokering that loan, plus additional income from business rates and ticket sales?
In our first year, we have welcomed more than 500,000 visitors, which is an incredible achievement of which we are extremely proud. We have paid £2.6m to Brighton & Hove City Council in loan repayments; and this is in addition to £1m set-up fees paid during the construction period.
The council is using the £1.8m profits from these payments to regenerate the seafront, with £1.1m earmarked to help restore Madeira Terraces and £700,000 to fund the elegant landscaping work that is now finished on either side of British Airways i360.
A year after British Airways i360 opened, the effects of this regeneration can be seen all around us. We are delighted to see people enjoying the new 2,500 sq m public spaces and the new monument that’s been created using the columns from the old West Pier, which looks particularly striking when viewed from the pod at night. New businesses are moving into the restored West Pier Arches and the increased footfall is creating a real buzz on this part of the seafront.
Here is a selection of our favourite images from the year:
This year we have also:
- Been rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ in almost 80% of our TripAdvisor reviews.
- Created 150 new jobs, all paying at least the Brighton & Hove Living Wage, plus many more in the wider city as a result of business partnerships, local supply chains and additional visitors to this part of the seafront.
- Given 39,000 free tickets to the city’s children – one for every child in a state school in Brighton & Hove. These have facilitated 192 free school trips to British Airways i360.
- Signed up 26,000 Local Resident Members – people living in postcodes BN1, BN2, BN3 and BN41 who benefit from half-price tickets for just £1 a year.
- Won 9 awards for design and innovation, including a RIBA National Award.
- Received 1 royal visitor, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who officially opened the attraction in October 2016.
- Served 55,000 glasses of Nyetimber sparkling wine at the onboard Sky Bar.
- Supported 7 charities, including Trust for Developing Communities, our local charity partner.
- Held 5 weddings and 176 private events.
For the first five years, operating profits after loan repayments will be ploughed back into the business, as we continue to improve the customer experience and work with other attractions to draw more visitors to our beautiful city.
These achievements have all been made possible thanks to the people of Brighton & Hove and you, our customers. On behalf of all of us at British Airways i360, thank you.
David Marks and Julia Barfield
British Airways i360 Chairman and Deputy Chair
* One free ticket per person born on August 4 for use on the day only, subject to flight availability. Walk-up booking on the day only. Proof of birth date and photo ID must be presented at the British Airways i360 ticket office at the time of booking.