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12 September 2012, 07:19
Work to remove the external lift from Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower is under way.
The lift hasn't worked since the tower was built in 2005, despite many attempts to solve technical problems.
Portsmouth City Council, owner of the tower, and Continuum Leading Attractions, the operator, have agreed that removing it is the best option.
The Leader of the council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said:
“Unfortunately, we have never been able to get the external lift to work. Probably almost every lift expert in the country has worked on it at one time or another. In all businesses, you have to learn when to cut your losses, and we’ve decided that there’s no point in pouring good money after bad.
“The tower remains profitable and a huge success.”
Juliana Delaney, chief executive of Continuum Leading Attractions, said:
“We have agreed that the removal of the external lift is the right decision at this time. “The company is 100% committed to the Spinnaker Tower. It’s a success story for the city and an icon for the south coast. No other UK viewing tower has such an amazing and vibrant view, taking in the naval base; the historic harbour and its iconic ships and museums; the bustling harbour mouth; the international shipping lanes and port; and long-distance views of land, sea and the Isle of Wight.”
The tower will remain open as usual during the work to remove the external lift, and the internal lift will not be affected. Removing the external lift will allow improvements to be made to the ground floor visitor area. Work on removing the lift will continue until about December. The Spinnaker Tower has welcomed more than 2m visitors and brought in almost £3m for council services. It has been shortlisted by the British Travel Awards (BTAs) for the title of Best UK Leisure Attraction 2012.