A new creative quarter - and breaking of ground for construction of the i360 - to be unveiled.
A new creative quarter - along with the breaking of the ground for construction of the i360 - will be unveiled on Brighton seafront today.
Signalling the next phase of regeneration, Councillor Brian Fitch, the mayor of Brighton and Hove, will cut a ribbon to open the arches, which have undergone a painstaking restoration, between Alfresco and the future i360 site - with eight independent small creative firms opening for business.
Councillor Jason Kitcat, leader of the city council, will also lead a group that will include David Marks, the architect behind the i360 and the London Eye, putting the first ceremonial spade in the ground formally to start building works for the Brighton i360 - now being branded as "the world’s first vertical cable car observation tower".
Cllr Jason Kitcat said: “This is a momentous occasion for Brighton and Hove, which will kick start the regeneration of the wider area, both down on the beach and including Preston Street. Our seafront is our most important asset 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 in the years to come. Bold decisions by the council and our partners have made sure this work has happened.”
Mr 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 effect the sort of transformation that the London Eye helped create on the South Bank.”
Rachel Clark, of the West Pier Trust, said: “This is a very special occasion for the West Pier Trust because it marks the beginning of a long awaited new era. The i360 will be a brilliant attraction and entirely in the spirit of the West Pier - a vertical pier. It will transform the site and the entire city."