Brighton 'vertical cable car' work starts

Ruth Doherty
Brighton seafront 'vertical cable car' work starts
Brighton seafront 'vertical cable car' work starts

Work has started on the world's first 'vertical cable car' observation tower in Brighton.

The Brighton i360 will be the highest observation tower in the UK outside of London, and is designed by the architects who created the London Eye.

Marks Barfield Architects are hoping the tower will transform the seafront into the equivalent of London's South Bank, reports the Daily Mail.

Situated in Regency Square on the West Pier,the £46.2 million structure will stand 162-metres high, surpassing the height of the London Eye.

According to the Daily Telegraph, visitors will be able to enjoy 360-degree views of the seafront from inside an observation pod 138 metres above sea level.

At 18 metres wide, the pod will accommodate 200 people, offering a 10-minute ride to the top level of the tower.

There will also be a bar and an events area where weddings can be held. And, at the bottoms of the tower, a visitor centre will offer a beachside cafe and an art exhibition space.

David Marks, of Marks Barfield Architects, said on his website: "It has taken over eight years to get to this point but the Brighton i360 will now be a reality and will be one of the most exciting visitor attractions in the world.

"The i360 will be the world's first vertical cable car; an engineering wonder and a major new performing arts, conference, dining and hospitality venue for Brighton.

"It will generate more footfall to this part of Brighton - and we hope bring about the sort of transformation that the London Eye helped create on the South Bank."

It is believed the tower will generate up to 800,000 visitors a year to the area, adding up to £25 million of revenue to Brighton's economy.

A ceremony tool place for the tower on Tuesday to mark the start of building work, which is expected to be completed by summer 2016.

Brighton and Hove Council leader Jason Kitcat, who put the first ceremonial spade into the ground at the ceremony, told the Guardian: "This is a momentous occasion for Brighton & Hove, which will kickstart the regeneration of the wider area, both down on the beach and including Preston Street.

"Our seafront is our most important asset, one that helps make our tourism industry such a great success in Brighton and Hove. Our innovation here will make all the difference to helping the city continue as one of the UK's most desirable and successful tourist destinations."

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