8) Background and Funding
British Airways i360 was funded through a Public-Private Partnership between Brighton & Hove City Council, Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and Brighton i360 Ltd. The total project cost was £46m.
The council acted as a ‘middle man’ for a loan from the Public Works Loan Board, which is a central funding pot that can only be accessed for projects which generate a commercial return. No council tax was used to fund BAi360, and the council earns profit from the agreement, which has already been used to regenerate the seafront spaces either side of BAi360. In July 2017, the council also announced it has earmarked £1.1m of this income to help fund the regeneration of Madeira Terraces (to the east of Brighton Palace Pier).
Brighton & Hove City Council benefits financially in three main ways:
– It earns interest on the PWLB loan for the duration of the agreement
– It earns 1% of BAi360 ticket revenues forever
– It earns business rates.
In addition, British Airways i360 has created new jobs, is contributing to the regeneration of the seafront and is helping to attract people to the city, thereby benefiting the local economy.
Since BAi360 opened in summer 2016, every state school child in the city has received a free ticket.
Local residents also benefit from half-price tickets through the Resident Membership scheme.