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November 12, 2006

Britain's tallest venue gets green light

Planning permission has been granted for the Brighton i360, which, at 183m high, will be the tallest corporate hospitality venue in the UK once completed.

The award-winning London Eye architects, husband and wife team David Marks and Julia Barfield, designed the new structure, which will incorporate an observation pod that rises to 139m, making it Britain’s highest observation tower – 4m taller than the Eye. It is a major coup for Brighton, where it is due to be built on the site of the dilapidated Victorian West Pier.

“After 30 years of exploring public funding options, it has not proved possible to rebuild the West Pier,” said Glynn Jones, chairman of the Brighton West Pier Trust. “We believe that the Brighton i360 – a ‘vertical pier’ – is entirely in the spirit of the West Pier’s history and the best option to replicate the success and the ethos of the original pier.”

The Brighton i360, which it is estimated will cost around £20 million to build, is set to be popular for corporate hospitality and conferencing as a result the impressive night-time views the building will afford from its proposed Sky Bar.
Commenting on the structure’s business potential as an events venue, Serena Castiglione, sales manager for Visit Brighton, said: “We are thrilled at the prospect of having this elegant 21st century tourist attraction in our city. Britain’s highest observation platform will become a popular attraction for post conference social activities and corporate hospitality events. It will improve the competitiveness of Brighton as a tourist and conferencing destination.”

Visitors to Brighton i360 will board a giant, fully enclosed ‘pod’, more than nine times the size of a London Eye capsule. During their 20-minute ride, the pod will rise gradually to a height of 139m giving visitors stunning 360 degree panoramic views of up to 25 miles of Brighton and the surrounding East Sussex countryside.

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