Will Brighton's i360 ever meet its sky-high ambitions?

  • Video report by Andy Dickenson

Brighton's i360 is looking for a new sponsor after British Airways confirmed it will end its branding deal with the observation tower in November.

The attraction owes the council more than 41 million pounds in loan repayments - and despite high expectations - has continued to make losses.

It has generated more than a million visitors - but some are now wondering if it will ever be a success.

A triumph of engineering and design, the i360 was built through a loan secured through the Brighton and Hove City Council, but its debts are only increasing.

It currently owes more than £41million - its repayments being deferred until a restructured agreement can be reached.

The last set of accounts the i360 published leading up to June 2020, a few months into the pandemic, show it had made losses of more than £5million.

However, the year before that it had also made losses of more than £4million. Yet it still has many supporters.

In a statement the i360 have said: 'This is the city's contemporary landmark and the number one paid for visitor attraction so it's no surprise that we have received several initial sponsorship enquiries. We are very excited about the next chapter.

'Of course the Covid pandemic has had a significant impact on visitor numbers and cashflow to many businesses - including ours. Despite this, the attraction is performing well and showing good signs of recovery.'

Brighton and Hove City Council added that the tower has attracted more than a million visitors, contributing an extra £90million to the local economy.

'December's loan payment will be made once the restructure arrangements are completed,' it said. 'This will not result in any loss of income to the council.'

Neither were available for interview.

Closed this week for its annual maintenance, this tourist attraction's progress, up or down, remains on hold.