Story behind the i360 promo video


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The Brighton i360 has been working with local business The Ideas Factory on a promotional video – and the result is a fantastic film which encapsulates all that is brilliant about Brighton.

The teaser film went live last week and has already attracted more than 15,000 views, with around 700 people Liking it on Facebook.

Directed and produced by Robert Dee, the film features an array of Brighton and Hove landmarks and institutions – a list the i360 hopes to join when it opens to the public next summer.

The Royal Pavilion, Palace Pier, Brighton and Hove Albion’s American Express Community Stadium, The Grand and the World Famous Pump Rooms on Brighton seafront are all included in the film.

And, because Brighton and Hove is as much about the people who live here as the buildings, The Ideas Factory recruited a small army of extras to star in the promo.

Charleston dancers from Savoy Kicks added some energy, members of Brighton Swimming Club showcased the unique side of the city and pupils from Cottesmore St Marys RC Primary School summed up the excitement building about the tower’s arrival.

The challenge for Mr Dee was to cram as much into the short film as possible. Quite a challenge but, as he explained, working on the i360 promotional film was too good an opportunity for The Ideas Factory to miss.

“When we saw the i360 opportunity we knew instantly that we could add value to what they were trying to achieve in the digital sphere through our video production expertise,” he said. “The i360 is set to become an iconic landmark in Brighton and attract visitors from near and far. We were ecstatic that they decided to team up with us to promote the project by inviting us to create a video that that was both worthy of the scale and the grandeur of the project itself.

Robert Dee, who created the video.

Robert Dee, who created the video.

“The main challenge was to promote an attraction that didn’t currently exist. It made me think of older Hollywood film trailers that don’t give away the big ‘reveal’ – the dinosaur, the spaceship – and I thought it would be a great concept for the film to shoot reactions of different people.

“So you get establishing shots of different people around Brighton, then their reactions, then the announcement. We did a test film first over a couple of days to check the concept worked (and to show it to i360) – that’s always something I prefer to do if it’s possible as it acts a rough sketch and you can iron out your ideas before you start.

“I think the main thing we thought was important was to showcase how great Brighton is as a whole. With the i360 team we were thorough to make sure we got as wide a cross-section of Brightonians, locations and activities as we could.

“I’m very proud of being a Brightonian and I love the city – particularly its tolerance, its emphasis on community and focus on the arts. I think both us and the i360 team felt that by celebrating Brighton in the film we could hopefully show how the i360 was going to fit in to the city’s heritage.”

Filming took place over the best part of a month, with Mr Dee focusing his time on the hour or so just before dusk, when the natural light showed Brighton and Hove at its best.

And, according to Mr Dee, the filming was as fun as it looks in the end product.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed every moment of it but my favourite shoots were the dancers on the bandstand and the kids by the huts. Both of those scenes were more complex so I got help from a couple of great cameramen, Andy Nicholls and William Ranieri, to make sure I got the coverage I needed.

Filming took place across Brighton and Hove.

Filming took place across Brighton and Hove.

“Andy helped out by doing Steadicam shots of the kids and we had to run back and forth several times with me encouraging the kids with a megaphone.

“The dancers I really enjoyed because my sister was a professional dancer for years and I’ve always appreciated good dancing. I hope in the future I can do more dance filming.

Presumably people were more than happy to be involved? “Everyone was extremely helpful – even the people I door-stepped with my camera,” said Mr Dee. “It goes to show you how friendly we Brightonians are.”

Central to the film is the choice of backing song, A Beautiful Life by Tim McMorris, and Mr Dee said finding the right music was key.

“It’s a great summer track. The music is really important as it provides a lot of the emotional tone and pace. You have to get it right, though.

“The music and the images have to work together. You can’t slap a piece of music onto the images and expect them to work.

“When we chatted with i360 after the test film I remembered A Beautiful Life as I’d had a preview copy of the track on my hard drive for a couple of months. I was waiting for the right job to use it on. It turned out to be perfect.”

So was Mr Dee happy with the end result? “I’m very pleased,” he said. “It was one of those jobs where everything came together for us, particularly the weather.

“Beyond that it was very important to do the best we could and I think we’ve got a great little film.

“For me, it’s important to try and make sure everything I do has some kind of emotion or mood to it. That’s what makes people watch, after all. Sometimes that’s difficult. Other times, like with this i360 film, I get a real chance to put some emotional energy into it and I hope that others feel that when they watch this film.”

But what does it say about the i360? Mr Dee said: “Fun, excitement, inclusiveness, community, bright colours, hip, the future. Brave New World.”

And he wasn’t the only one pleased with the outcome. Eleanor Harris, the i360’s chief executive, was delighted with the outcome. She said: “We wanted a film which showed why Brighton and Hove is such a great city at the same time as ramping up the excitement over the i360.

“The Ideas Factory has managed to achieve both of these. It really is a fantastic promotional film. It is a really fun video and shows why Brighton is such a brilliant place to visit. The music certainly gets you tapping your toes and hopefully the video will add to the excitement already building around the i360.”



Directed and produced by Robert Dee at The Ideas Factory

Brighton i360 would like to thank the many people and venues that helped us to make this film:

Savoy Kicks

City Sightseeing Brighton

EF Education First and their students

The Grand Brighton

Brighton & Hove City Council

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

Royal Pavilion

Brighton Pier

Mark Brady at the World Famous Pump Rooms on Brighton seafront

Eileen, Yvonne, Ben and Robert from Brighton Swimming Club

The Year 4 children of Cottesmore St Marys RC Primary School and their headteacher, Miss Holland

Judith and Dave Harland

Mathew, Detty and Johnny Prior and Inca

Brighton i360 team visit Hollandia factory ahead of tower’s arrival


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A delegation from the Brighton i360 recently visited the workshop in Holland where the cans which will make up the 162 metre tower are being made.

Led by the i360’s chief executive Eleanor Harris and architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, the party spent a day at the specialist Hollandia factory in Rotterdam.  DSC_0135

There they were shown the 17 pieces of rolled steel, or cans, which are due to arrive in Brighton by sea on June 11.

Each can measures between six and 12 metres in height and together will form the shaft of the i360. They differ in size, with the taller cans going at the top of the tower and shorter cans, but with thicker walls, making up the lower sections.

John Roberts, the chief engineer at the i360, also made the trip – which was funded by the board and Marks Barfield, the architects behind the scheme.  He inspected each can individually and was delighted with the progress.

The cans will soon depart for British shores and should land in Brighton on June 11, when a 100 metre high crane will unload them from the boats onto the beach.


From there they will be fitted into place by a jacking tower. Rather than add each can to the top of the structure, the jacking tower allows the engineering team to build from the bottom up. Once the cans have arrived, the tower should take shape relatively quickly and the shaft should be completed by the end of September.

Eleanor Harris said: “This was the first time some of us had been to Hollandia and to see the cans up close was brilliant.

“Once they arrive in Brighton and start going up it will really give people a sense of the scale of the Brighton i360.”


David Marks and Julia Barfield were also behind the London Eye and remembered the excitement which greeted the structure being floated down the Thames.

And Eleanor Harris is anticipating a similar response to the arrival of the cans on Brighton seafront.

“We are expecting there to be a lot of interest when the cans arrive by sea,” she said.

“We already have a lot of people stopping to watch what is going on at the construction site when they walk by but the cans going up takes the construction to another level.

“Building the i360 a major feat of engineering. It really will be quite exciting to see the cans arrive and the tower start to take shape.”

For regular updates on the i360 construction and for further information about the beach landings event, follow @TheBrightoni360 on Twitter.


Historic West Pier toll booths will return as part of Brighton i360




A much-loved piece of Brighton’s historic West Pier, a pair of toll booths designed by Eugenius Birch which originally stood at the entrance to the pier, is being restored ready for a return to the seafront by the Brighton i360 team.

One of the booths later became the well-known Rock Shop, which closed in 2009 after becoming structurally unsound. It was subsequently placed in storage after being carefully dismantled in 2012 with a plan for it to be restored and returned to the site as part of the i360 development.

The ticket booths will return to the seafront

The ticket booths will return to the seafront

And with only 12 months until the anticipated opening of the seafront attraction – which will be the world’s tallest moving observation tower – the restoration work on the eastern toll booth has begun.

A team of experts from Swan Foundry are currently shot-blasting sections of the old ticket booth to strip it back to bare metal. The technique involves sections of the booth being put inside a shot blaster, where they are rotated while being bombarded by steel shots of various sizes for around five minutes.

Experts are shot-blasting pieces of the old Rock Shop

Experts are shot-blasting pieces of the old Rock Shop

A replica of the western toll booth will also be added to the site.

Rachel Clark, the West Pier Trust’s chief executive, was among those pleased at the restoration and looking forward to the booths’ return to Brighton beach.

She said: “The West Pier Trust is delighted that a key element of the i360 scheme will be the reinstatement of the pier’s toll booths in their original positions.

“These iconic buildings adorned the entrance of the pier when it opened in 1866 and, expertly restored and replicated, will similarly greet the public when visiting the i360.

“We’re thrilled that for the first time in 30 years both of Eugenius Birch’s splendid buildings will be back where they belong and mark the entrance to Brighton’s newest and most exciting attraction.”

Parts of the ticket booth, before and after shot-blasting

Parts of the ticket booth, before and after shot-blasting

David Marks, the architect who designed the i360, said it was always the intention to embrace the area’s heritage at the same time as providing the city with a modern attraction.

He said: “Our vision for the Brighton i360 – a vertical pier – is to follow in the spirit of the original pier, inviting visitors to ‘walk on air’ and gain a new perspective of the city, just as they ‘walked on water’ in the past and viewed the city from the sea.

“I am delighted that we are able to reuse parts of the Victorian cast iron supporting structure and restore parts of the original pier to their former glory, setting the historic alongside the futuristic, to create an exciting new architectural and tourist destination.”

i360 tower on seafront

A CGI of how the returning booths will look

The i360 is also contributing annual funds to the West Pier Trust – an arrangement which will be invaluable for the charity to achieve its objectives which include promoting the pier’s history and keeping alive its memory.

Eleanor Harris, chief executive at the i360, was similarly excited by the returning two booths. She said: “These beautiful buildings will be publicly accessible and become our ticket office and heritage tea rooms; with a perfect vantage point to enjoy views of the West Pier ‘sea island’ – Sussex’s most photographed structure.”

The toll booths will be re-built on Brighton Seafront in spring 2016 at the same time as the Brighton i360 is completed.

For regular construction updates on all things Brighton i360, follow @TheBrightoni360 on Twitter or like the i360’s Facebook page HERE

The Brighton i360: inspiring the next generation

The Brighton i360 will not only be a brilliant place to visit, it will also inspire a future generation of engineers and architects and become an attraction the entire city can be proud of.

Opening may be a year away but the team at the i360 has already started working with local young people on a range of projects and that engagement with the city’s younger population is something the i360 is determined to continue.

Every state school pupil in Brighton and Hove will be treated to a free visit to the i360 with their school once it is open and the attraction’s community liaison officer will soon begin working with schools to put together a range of exciting on-site activities which compliment their curriculum.

And the i360’s work with local young people doesn’t stop there.

Last month, Brighton i360’s chief executive Eleanor Harris was interviewed by young people about working in the tourism industry and what sort of skills employees are looking for in potential recruits.


It was part of the Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut, or BEACH as it is more commonly known – an initiative run by Brighton and Hove City Council, and local schools. The project has been designed by local secondary school pupils and back in 2013 it won a Brighton and Hove and aims to put young people face to face with local employers.

Eleanor said: “We expect to employ lots of young people at the Brighton i360 when we open next year in entry level customer facing jobs . The tourism industry is a key employer for young people with 39% of employees aged under 30.

“I was happy to be interviewed for BEACH from Love Local Jobs, giving advice on what we’ll be looking for as an employer. We will be hiring energetic, motivated people with great people and communication skills who have already gained some work experience in a customer facing role.

“My advice to young people would be to try to get as much experience as you can as soon as possible whether paid or as an intern. My first job was a Saturday job in a flower shop when I was at school. I worked my way through university with jobs in a shop, as a waitress and at a cinema. All of this experience helped me to get hired by British Airways on their graduate scheme and start on my career ladder in the tourism sector.”

While Eleanor was supporting Beach, i360 sales manager Pippa Atkinson was championing Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity.

Each year student groups across Brighton and Hove and Lewes form a Young Enterprise company, working with a mentor to get direct experience of the business world. The i360 sponsored the Best Product or Service award and Pippa was thrilled to present Seaford Community College the prize for their beautifully designed mugs.

pippa and AR Enterprises

Elsewhere, the i360 has agreed to sponsor the Excursion of the Year award at The Argus newspaper’s Youth in Action awards 2015. The awards celebrate the remarkable achievements of youngsters, teachers and support staff.

The Excursion of the Year award looks at innovative ways in which learning has been taken outside of the classroom. This is a cause close to our hearts as we are already looking at ways in which we can make a visit to the i360 a fantastic learning experience.

Later this month, on May 30, the i360 is holding a family friendly event at the construction site on the seafront. It will see the first concrete poured onto the site and Bob the Builder will be on hand with the i30 team and constructions experts to answer any questions.

There will also be a colouring competition and a seafront family treasure hunt.


Prepare the basement and beach for the arrival of the tower!


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This summer, Brighton and Hove is going to change. On 11th June, 17 huge pieces of rolled steel, the i360 tower cans, are due to arrive by barge onto the beach alongside the West Pier. Fences are going up and large bits of machinery are arriving… Holland, we are awaiting our exciting shipment!

Our tower cans are ready to leave Holland!

Our tower cans are ready to leave Holland!

But first things first. We need to get ready…

Preparing the arches

Now that we have been granted listed building consent to rebuild the heavily corroded, structurally dilapidated arches behind our site, work has begun to turn them into part of our beach building.

The hoardings line has temporarily shifted

We have moved the hoarding line on the upper promenade as a temporary measure. For a short while cyclists and pedestrians need to share the pathway. This works well on the beach footpath before 11am, when cyclists are allowed to use the lower promenade as long as everybody is mindful of other path users. Hopefully the same attention will be paid on the upper promenade but please do take care.

Preparing the basement

The 1st dig goes down 1.5 m

The 1st dig goes down 1.5 m

Those of you that have strolled along the beach footpath or cycled down the promenade, will have noticed the physical change in our site. It appears to be taking on a shape!

At the start of February we began to form the piles, the concrete ‘stilts’ that form the deep foundations of our building. Some of these piles interlock to form the basement wall. During March we put the capping beam on top – this is a solid layer that sits above the piles and transfers the load more evenly. The shape you can now see is the top of our basement!

Our high-performance crane will be here all summer

Our high-performance crane will be here all summer

We have the layout, now we need the depth. The dig is done in two stages. The 1st, which we are undertaking now, goes down to 1.5 m. We need to add temporary props to the structure at this point, which will stop the walls caving in as we dig.

To help us fit the props, we are using an 80 tonne crawler crane. Although it has only just arrived on site, the Hitachi SCX8000 is already playing a major role on site – shifting all the heavy kit that we will need to create the basement. The shiny red crane is also providing construction and environmental enthusiasts the chance to see a new breed of crane in action… the Hitachi SCX8000 has a high performance exhaust filter, cleaning the air using anti-pollution technology.  When tests were done in London, the air that came out of the exhaust was cleaner than the air the people of the city was breathing!

The temporary props will hold up the basement walls

The temporary props will hold up the basement walls

At the end of the month we will start to dig down to the bottom. Digging 8.5m down into chalk on the seafront is no easy feat. We go below the tidal water level and so the engineer’s first challenge was to find a way to make the working area dry. Our plan is to drill down 16m and put ‘well point pumps’ in. These pumps allow us to remove all the water and keep the area dry while we work. Once we pour concrete in, the ground is effectively ‘plugged’ and we can remove the pumps.

The long reach excavator is due to arrive soon

A long reach excavator is due to arrive soon

With the water removed, we need to be able to shift the huge amount of shingle out of the basement. This is the 2nd part of our big dig and a long reach excavator will be arriving on-site imminently.  This highly specialised piece of kit can reach out 16m and will allow us to remove all the shingle from the basement. The crawler crane will support the work, enabling us to lift things in and out of the newly formed space.

The steel will reinforce the concrete basement

The steel will reinforce the concrete basement

As we dig, a steel cage is built within the basement. The rods are arriving on-site as individual pieces at the moment, but will be carefully linked together to form a mesh like structure to fit – much like they were for the helical cages used within the piles. The rods further strengthen the concrete when it is poured in at the end of May.

Preparing the beach

So where will the shingle from the basement go? Ever keen to reduce the need for landfill, we are reusing the shingle to create a ‘beach mat’ across the other side of the footpath from our site.  We need to reinforce the beach as this is where the 100m crane that builds the tower will sit. We will also store our 17 cans in this area, ready to be lifted over the path and positioned one-by-one.

We are busy preparing the beach for our platform

We are busy preparing the beach for our platform

To get the shingle onto the site we are using a vacuum excavator truck. The truck will sit on a platform on the beach, attached to a pipe that runs under the footpath and on to our existing site. The shingle is deposited into the pipe and will literally be sucked through to the other side. A dumper truck on the beach will collect the shingle and deliver it across the beach, helping us create a flat platform.

To protect the existing beach, a geo-textile membrane is laid over the beach before we deposit any shingle on top.

Anyone who has ever walked down a shingle beach will know how the ground can give way beneath you on the steep slopes. To prevent this, gabions will shore the beach up at the far end of our platform. We will then add another layer of geo-textile membrane across the whole space so that we can deposit the layer of sand and stone needed to support timber mats.

Heras fencing surrounds the site for safety

Heras fencing surrounds the site for safety

There is still lots to do before June, but with the fences going up this week it is easier to get an idea of the working area. In the next few weeks we will be giving an update on how the beach landings will work and how we are going to celebrate the arrival of our space-age cans. Summer is going to be busy, so watch this space!

Brighton i360 – working with the best in local talent

Brighton-based digital agency Tilt were recently appointed as the i360’s web developers adding another local company to the list of businesses we are working with.

The Tilt team will design the i360 website.

The Tilt team will design the i360 website.

While some of the specialist construction work is having to be done overseas, a number of local firms continue to be heavily involved in the building process. JT Mackley are leading on the ground preparation work for the build of the tower and will also manage the beach level construction of the event rooms, restaurant, exhibition centre and shop. Hove civil engineers Hemsley Orrell Partnership are also overseeing the construction process. Elsewhere sub-contractors C J Thornes from Uckfield were responsible for the 120m long sewer diversion that was completed earlier this year.

Thomas and Trotman Design, based in central Brighton, are supporting the team with their award-winning design and created the imagery seen on the construction site hoardings, which can be viewed by passing pedestrians and traffic, helping inform people about the scale and design of the i360. Thomas and Trotman are now developing the i360’s brochures for corporate events and weddings.

F10 Studios based in the Lanes created the visualisations of the Brighton i360, which are already being printed far and wide, bringing the architectural design to life through still, moving and interactive imagery.

Two leading local photographers have been retained to cover the i360 construction and its launch, including Kevin Meredith, who said: “As a photographer you are often given jobs where you only have a few hours to document something, which is not ideal – it’s quite hard to tell a story with images captured over such a short time period. So to be asked to document something this large over a long period of time is a fantastic opportunity.”

Landscape photographer Gary Eastwood, who was awarded the title of UK Landscape Photographer of the Year 2008 by Take-A-View for his stunning shots of Hove beach, is working alongside Mr Meredith. He said: “Being asked to photograph this project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am delighted to be joining the team.

“This project will become a part of Brighton history, so I think it’s great that the i360 team have all been recruited locally.”

Other local firms working with the i360 include Natural PR, already well known for their work to promote tourism and leisure in Brighton, including the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink and launch of the American Express Community Stadium, as well as working with major projects for the city such as the Circus Street development, Preston Barracks Scheme and E.ON’s Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.

Natural PR’s managing director Paula Seager said the firm was delighted to be working on the project: “We are very excited to be working with the Brighton i360,” she said, “which we believe will not only change the city’s sky line, but the international appeal and fortunes of Brighton and Hove well into the next century.”

Brighton-based The Ideas Factory Digital have been commissioned to create a teaser video for the new i360 website and social media channels which will feature a host of Brighton icons such as the Royal Pavilion, Palace Pier, the South Downs and Brighton and Hove Albion’s stunning American Express Community Stadium.

The i360 continues to expand its team by employing local people and earlier this year became the first tourism business to sign up to the city’s Living Wage campaign.

The i360 is signed up to the Living Wage.

The i360 is signed up to the Living Wage.

Eleanor Harris, chief executive of the i360, said: “Our team is growing continuously and we are determined to contribute to the economy on every level by working with local companies, employing local people and making sure that everything we do is positive for Brighton and Hove.

“There is a wealth of talent here in Brighton and Sussex and wherever possible we want to work with local businesses.”

Brighton i360 hire local digital experts to design attraction’s website

The Brighton i360 has hired local digital agency Tilt to design its new website.

Formed in 2010 and initially housed in an old motor cycle workshop, Tilt has fast-established itself as a well-respected and market-leading digital agency and boasts a range of impressive clients, including BP, the BBC and children’s TV network Nickeldeon.

And the Brighton i360 will be the latest in a long line of local firms and organisations to work with Tilt. The digital experts have already paired with South Downs National Park Authority, Visit Brighton and the Theatre Royal.

The Tilt team will design the i360 website.

The Tilt team will design the i360 website.

Jon Malyon: Tilt’s managing director, said “We are delighted to be partnering the i360 and our team are genuinely excited about the project.

“As a Brighton firm, this was a project we really wanted to be part of. The i360 is going to be really positive for the city and it is brilliant to be able to play a part in that.

“It was one of those opportunities that does not come around very often but locally the i360 was THE project to win.

Tilt, which is based Pullman Haul, New England Street, has around 20 full time members of staff but can also call upon a vast network of freelancers, meaning the team is able to cater specifically for each client.


“We are all about providing a bespoke team,” continued Mr Malyon, “offering each client their own unique team and approach. Our clients are very varied, meaning our team has to be flexible to suit each project. It keeps us on our toes, means we get the best out of our team and also helps us be creative.”

Eleanor Harris, chief executive of the i360, said there had never been any doubt that the i360 would work with a local digital firm. She said: “There is a wealth of talent here in Brighton and Sussex and where possible we want to work with local businesses.

“Brighton is now one of the leading digital hubs in the UK and so we are excited to work with a talented Brighton-based agency.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response with around 50 expressions of interest from Brighton digital firms and submissions from nearly 30 businesses wanting to work with us.

“In the end Tilt was the obvious choice. Their enthusiasm for the i360 and creativity really shone through.”

The list of local firms commissioned to support the Brighton i360 is growing and the i360 recently signed up to the Brighton and Hove Living Wage Campaign.

The i360 is signed up to the Living Wage.

The i360 is signed up to the Living Wage.

Eleanor Harris continued: “Our team is growing continuously and we are determined to contribute to the economy on every level by working with local companies, employing local people and making sure that everything we do is positive for Brighton and Hove.”

Another local firm hired to work on the project is The Ideas Factory Digital, which has been commissioned to create a teaser video for the new i360 website and social media. This will feature many Brighton icons such as the Royal Pavilion, Palace Pier, the band stand and the South Downs National Park.

The new website will go live in May.

Ten things all tourists should do when visiting Sussex

1. Enjoy a fun family day out at the award-winning Drusillas in Alfriston and say hello to the resident meerkats!

Everyone loves the Drusillas meerkats.

Everyone loves the Drusillas meerkats.

2. Take a stroll along the heritage coast from Beachy Head to Seven Sisters or tackle the entire South Downs Way trail.

Seven Sisters

3. Enjoy an opera and a picnic at the internationally-acclaimed Glyndebourne House.


4. Take a wine tour at one of the award-winning Sussex sparkling wineries such as Ridgeview or Nyetimber.

Ridgeview Wine Estate

Ridgeview Wine Estate

5. Visit one the county’s beautiful castles. Bodiam and Arundel  are among the best.

Arundel Castle is a great place for a visit.

Arundel Castle is a great place for a visit.

6. Enjoy the art on display at some of Sussex’s cultural hotspots, which include Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and Bexhill’s wonderful De La Warr Pavilion.

Bexhill's wonderful art deco De La Warr Pavilion.

Bexhill’s wonderful art deco De La Warr Pavilion.

7. Marvel at 900 years of history at Chichester Cathedral.


8. Take a ride on the wonderful Bluebell Railway and relax as the beautiful Sussex countryside passes by.


9. Enjoy a day at the races: Goodwood, Brighton Racecourse or Fontwell Racecourse are all brilliant venues.

Sussex has some great racing venues.

Sussex has some great racing venues.

10. Spend the weekend in Brighton – nightlife, dining, shopping, stroll along beach and go on the pier. So much to see and do – it’s more than a day trip!

Tourists Relaxing at Seaside Near Brighton Pier

It’s in the can! A closer look at progress on the tower


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Many of you will have seen David Marks, the architect behind the i360, on BBC South East recently. David travelled with the BBC television crew to the Hollandia factory in Rotterdam for a first-hand look at the 17 tower cans due to arrive on Brighton beach this June.

BBC in Holland

We thought the news piece had a real impact. Having worked on a muddy site for many months, it was a real thrill to see the shiny steel cans in the factory and know that in less than 3 months they will be here! For those of you that missed the show, here are some more photos from the trip…

i360 cans

David and the crew were shown around the factory by Wim van’t Hof, Senior Project Manager and Works Director, Hollandia. The cans behind him have had their flanges attached, bolt holes drilled through and are currently being painted with a protective coating to withstand the elements.

drilling bolt holes

The bolt holes have been drilled using CNC boring machines (above). The can above looks a rusty colour because it has not yet gone through the cleaning and painting process.

i360 cans

In most of the images the cans are hollow, but we spied a bar running across this one above. David reports that this is a temporary jig for centring the can to enable accurate setting out for the various cleats which will be welded inside the can to support ladders, platforms, counterweight guiderails, dampers, cable trays and everything else that needs to be supported inside.

Welding the guiderails

Everything needs to be welded into place in Rotterdam, while the cans are in a factory-controlled environment. While David was there, the team were busy working on the counterweight guiderails which will be fixed inside the cans and will guide the counterweight up and down.

Abseil rail

They also had the stainless steel abseil rail that will be fitted on top of the upper-most can at the top of the tower.

anchor bolt frame

A lot of people are curious about how we will fit the first can into the ground and while they were at the factory, it became clear. We will use an anchor bolt frame (above) that is pre-assembled in Holland. It will be cast into the main foundation ready for us to bolt the first tower can down.

The counter-weight guide wheels

Although the pod is being built in France, some elements of  the mechanism need to be fitted into the tower cans before they arrive in Brighton. The bull wheels and counterweight guide-wheels (above) were shipped from Poma, our French team, to arrive in Rotterdam recently.

Moving the bull wheels

Here the counterweight is being pre-assembled in a temporary frame before being delivered to site.  The white ‘block’ above the Hollandia sign is made up of thick steel white painted ‘plates’ which are stacked up to form the counterweight.  The red bull-wheel is being lowered into the counterweight where it will carry the steel rope which will lift and lower the counterweight.

David and the BBC crew really got a sense of the scale of the tower, something that Brightonians will probably only begin to appreciate when the boats arrive in June. It was a fantastic trip and we hope the photos have got you as excited as we are about the tower build!