New date set to discuss i360 repayments

i360 pod and toll booth SUS-180615-100858001
i360 pod and toll booth SUS-180615-100858001

A new date has been set for councillors to consider whether to give the Brighton i360 some flexibility over the timing of loan payments.

They will reach their decision with just two days before the i360 owner is due to pay £570,000 to Brighton and Hove City Council.

A special meeting of the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee has been called for Thursday, June 28. The deadline for the next payment is Saturday, June 30.

The company behind the viewing tower wants to put the payments – due twice a year – on hold until it has paid off a more expensive loan.

The issue was due to have been decided yesterday (Thursday, June 14) but a report on the matter was pulled at the last minute.

Council leader Daniel Yates said that more time was needed for the proposals to be considered.

The i360 asked for more time because it had attracted fewer visitors than originally forecast, although the owner said that it was trading at a profit.

The attraction cost about £50 million to build, with just over £36 million coming from a loan from the Public Works Loan Board, brokered by the council.

The council’s latest report on the subject said that repayments to the board were being met.

It added that the council has already benefited to the tune of £2.5 million from the i360, including handling fees and business rates.

The attraction took a second loan, worth £4 million, from Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

The loan from the local enterprise partnership (LEP) is more expensive and the i360 wants the chance to pay it down.

But it cannot currently afford to do so while making twice-yearly payments of £570,000 to the council.

The LEP is due to discuss the terms of its loan to the i360 at a board meeting early next month.

Frank Le Duc , Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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Visitor number woes prompt i360 to ask for ‘flexibility’ over council payments