This week Brighton and Hove City Council revealed their frustration at the stagnant state of the West Pier by offering to loan the remaining £14 million to the developers of the i360, Marks Barfield. The architects reluctance to accept such a substantial subsidy emphasises the extent such a burden would have on the taxpayer. It would be another 12 years before the loan is repaid to the Council through the attraction’s predicted profits…if it does make a profit. This is however a small debt considering the current £5 million loss to the City the ‘work’ site is racking up annually.
I have a Churchill quote which is very apt for the very blinkered supporters of the i360: “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it but in the end there it is”. In other words, wake up and accept the fact that it doesn’t stack up in any way, shape or form. This will be the biggest white elephant this city has seen if councillors continually refuse to remove their blinkers.
I hope my cynicism will be proven unfounded but I personally don’t think the i360 will ever be built. I have always said you won’t get a successful Eye without the pier. There’s more chance of Nelson getting his eye back. And now they are saying that if the i360 does go up, the Brighton Wheel by Palace Pier will come down??? What was the point in that anyway? This is meant to be a rejuvenation project. The only thing I can see being produced from this act is the covering up of poor decisions and costly mistakes.
The West Pier trust may remain blindly committed to the i360 but their responsibility to the Pier has clearly been forgotten. This statement from the Trust only proves my point: “Once we have the i360 we think it’s very likely we’ll also be able to get the new West Pier but the financial equations are very tricky with piers”.
Given that I have already submitted a proposal and offered the funding, the equation is really very simple. Once again, the West Pier is being dragged down by unrealistic plans and reprehensible egos.