i360 Update, Profile of Glynn Jones - Trust Chairman,  New Pier Options,  Market, 
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Site preparations for i360

There's been lots of activity on site since mid-May with preparations for the start of i360 construction 


The last six weeks have seen columns removed from the beach and the pier root end dismantled. The columns will be stored until their reinstatement later in the project within the new West Pier themed landscaping scheme either side of the i360. Lots of other original West Pier material will be integrated into the attraction and surrounding area including the restored original pier toll booths. It will be very exciting to see these beautiful buildings back more or less exactly where they stood when the pier opened in 1866. Financial close happened on 19th June and on 30th June local construction firm, Macklay, will take over the site and i360 build will begin. Above is the i360 construction team - click here to read the latest press release and here learn about the team

Glynn Jones, Trust Chairman - a profile

With the construction of the i360 about to begin, interest in the West Pier Trust and the important work it delivers is likely to increase dramatically.  As custodians of what remains of the pier, salvaged artefacts and the foreshore adjoining the root end, the Trust will not only have a vital role in the delivery of the i360 but also the development of a heritage centre  preserving the history and traditions of the iconic structure that has graced the Brighton landscape for so long.  The subject of the West Pier and its future is one that generates strong emotions among residents and the diverse myriad of visitors alike.  For this reason, the West Pier Trust has decided to run a series of profiles on the Board members who contribute their energy, professional experience and sheer love and dedication for the ‘Old Lady’, with the aim of giving a better understanding of the people behind the pier.
In our first profile, we would like to introduce Glynn Jones, Chairman of the Trust since 2005.  Born in Newcastle upon Lyme, Glynn studied economics at Birmingham and then Law at Kings College, London and began his career in higher education as Academic Registrar in a Staffordshire Polytechnic, later moving to North London as Chief Administrative officer and Clerk to the governing body of  what was to become,North East London University.  After a period at Haringey Council, Glynn came to Brighton as Chief Executive of the borough of Brighton in 1988, four years after the Brighton Bombing, at the peak of the recession and at a time characterised by a slump in civic pride.  Glynn steered the merging of Brighton and Hove into a unitary authority, and subsequently  the successful application for city status in 2000.  Glynn retired as Chief Executive in 2001 and shortly afterwards, joined the West Pier Trust.
Glynn’s vision and ambition for the regeneration of Brighton has been critical to its success as one of the country’s most popular destinations, translating the excitement and carefree traditions of the British seaside resort into a twenty first century context.  He has been pivotal in establishing the city as a cultural hub with the establishment of the Brighton Fringe as an independent registered charity and the recruitment of luminaries from the arts world as curators and directors as well as encouraging the growth of new economies such as the digital industry and the knowledge based economy. 
Glynn’s affection for the city is by no means sentimental and he has brought pragmatism and financial good sense to his aspirations for Brighton.  He was closely involved  in the Heritage Lottery bid to restore the pier, the subsequent fires and loss of funding led him to seek alternative strategies once it became clear there was no hope of restoring the pier as it was previously conceived.  Aware that the innovative architects Marks Barfield, responsible for the London Eye, were looking for a potential location for a new observation attraction, he approached them with the proposal of the West Pier site.  Like the original pier in its day, the concept and construction of the i360 would be an example of cutting edge engineering, technology and design and as Glynn says, “part of a continuous process of the city constantly re-inventing itself so that it remains relevant to the interests and activities of the communities who live and work here and the millions who annually come to visit.  It will effectively be a Pier in the Sky”. 
Glynn’s energies are not restricted to the West Pier Trust.  After retiring from the Council in 2001, he took up the role of Chairman of the NHS Trust responsible for the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and led a team which transformed the Trust’s financial and operational performance.  Currently, he Chairs the Friends of Brighton & Hove Hospitals which raises money to support services which really do make a difference to patient care, in addition to the local branch of the homeless charity Emmaus and is active in the Hanover Band Trust.  Glynn has been involved in the West Pier Trust since 1996 when it’s Chair, Bryan Spielman, made him promise to support the Trust’s work which he did by recruiting Admiral Sir Lindsay Bryson, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex as its next Chair.  When Sir Lindsay became ill, he handed the reins to Glynn telling him ‘It’s your turn now!’.  The West Pier Trust looks forward to many more years under his stewardship.




New Pier Options

A reminder that the Board will be sending members a consultation document about the feasible options for a new pier. To avoid confusion we decided to wait for the publicity surrounding the start of i360 construction to recede. We hope to send Trust members the document at the end of July or beginning of August. Aware that this is holiday time, the consultation period will last six weeks to allow members plenty of time to respond.

West Pier Market

The market is still trading from the West Pier site. We had expected it to have moved to a new position on the seafront by now but both traders and contractors have shown great flexibility and co-operation, enabling it to continue in its usual place for the time being. 

Social Media

Many of you already follow us on Facebook and Twitter where all the latest news items from our website get posted as well as photos and historical stories. But please encourage your friends and families to follow and like us - these are exciting fast moving times and there will be lots of news over the next few months. If you have any questions about the project please get in touch. We'll do our best to answer your queries or forward them to someone who will be able to help.

1866 Kiosk 

The dismantled kiosk is in storage now but in August we'll be submitting a Heritage Lottery Fund application for funding towards its restoration. We hope to see it reinstated at the eastern point of the i360 landscaping scheme soon after the attraction opens. Apart from being a beautiful reminder of the pier and its exquisite architecture it will function as the West Pier heritage centre, a place for people to come and learn about the pier


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