WORTHING Borough Council has expressed an interest in bringing the Brighton Wheel to the town.
The wheel’s original planning application is set to expire on May 19, 2016, and the council, along with the Worthing Town Centre Initiative would welcome the opportunity to bring it 13 miles along the coast.
It just shows businesses and the council are working together now to look at what could be good for Worthing.Sharon Clarke, manager of Worthing’s Town Centre Initiative
Scott Marshall, Worthing Borough Council’s director for the economy, has made contact with the wheel’s owner to see if it is something they would be prepared to consider, following discussions with Sharon Clarke, manager of Worthing’s Town Centre Initiative. Mrs Clarke said: “It’s good the council has seen there is potential.
“Obviously it’s very early days and it may not be possible.
“It just shows businesses and the council are working together now to look at what could be good for Worthing. There’s a lot of hurdles to overcome but it’s an opportunity we won’t be missing. At least it’s being explored.”
The wheel’s owner, Paramount Entertainments Ltd, has submitted a planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council to extend its temporary stay on Brighton’s seafront by another five years.
The 45-metre-high structure employs up to 50 people annually and pays a six-figure annual sum to the council through lease payments and business rates.
Mrs Clarke said the idea to bring the wheel to Worthing was raised by a town centre businessman who had read there would be restrictions imposed on it when the i360 tourist attraction opens in Brighton next year.
She said: “He felt it would be a really good tourist attraction for Worthing. It wouldn’t need to move that far and it could be used to move people through the town more effectively.”
She added that it would give an ‘overall view’ of Worthing and the surrounding areas and would show off Sussex to its full potential.
Bryan Turner, Worthing Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are just brainstorming where would be a suitable site for it.
“It’s a tourist attraction in Brighton and would work here as well. It would need to be in the right site though.
“Opportunities come up and you want to have a good hard look at any opportunity.
“You don’t get many like this.”