The Rt. Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Cities and the Constitution, joined Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove & Portslade and Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council, at the site of the proposed new i360 observation tower which is set to receive significant Government loan funding in the coming months.
Greg was in Brighton & Hove on behalf of the Government to sign the new Greater Brighton City Deal and Geoffrey and Mike wanted to take the opportunity to show him the site adjacent to the crumbling West Pier where the i360 will be built.
The Conservative Group on the Council recently supported plans to fund the i360 with money borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board and the Local Enterprise Partnership in addition to the money already being put forward by Marks Barfield, the project developers who were behind the hugely successful London Eye. The i360, which is widely backed by the city’s business community, would help regenerate the seafront and Preston Street area, would create hundreds of new jobs and would provide the Council with a significant amount of additional income for many years to come.
Geoffrey said: ”I was delighted to be able to explain to Greg the benefits that the i360 will bring to Brighton & Hove and to show him how this part of the seafront so desperately needs regenerating. That I should be doing this on the day that Greg signed the Greater Brighton City Deal off was highly symbolic of this Government’s commitment to securing economic recovery.”
Mike said: “By making use of special funding from central government, the i360 will generate a large income for Brighton & Hove City Council which can be put towards valuable local services. I would much rather the money was spent here in Brighton & Hove rather than one of our competitor cities. It will bring more tourists who ultimately fund our restaurants, hotels and many other industries. Best of all though is that it will lead to the regeneration of the whole Preston Street area.”