Building work has officially started on Brighton seafront to build the UK’s tallest observation tower outside London.


The 162m tall i360 tower is being built with help from Brighton and Hove City Council, which lent £36.2m to the £46.2m project. The structure, designed by Marks Barfield Architects and Jacobs, is being built on the old West Pier site. West Sussex contractor Mackley will deliver the civils package on the ambitious project.

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This will include pouring a 3m deep gravity base, 25m square to anchor the steel mast of the new observation tower. Dutch steelwork specialist Hollandia will erect the main steel mast.

This is to be built erected by welding together prefabricated tapering steel sections of the tower, known by the team as cans, at ground level before jacking them up into the air to slot the next section below.

The doughnut-shaped main observation pod will be built by French cable-car specialist POMA, which delivered the London Eye pods.

David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects, said: “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.”

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