Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Spinnaker Tower branding: New design revealed by council

New Spinnaker Tower design Image copyright Portsmouth City Council
Image caption The bottom 50m of the tower will be painted blue under the revised plans

A Portsmouth landmark is to be painted blue and gold following an outcry over the use of red in the previous plan.

The city council announced a £3.5m deal with airline Emirates to rebrand the Spinnaker Tower earlier this month.

The decision upset 10,000 people who signed a petition against a branding plan as red and white are the colours of football rivals Southampton.

More than 100 litres of red paint, bought in readiness for the work, will now be given away to good causes.

Following "collective feedback", new plans show the tower painted blue and gold.

Blue is the traditional colour of the city of Portsmouth and its football team.

'Laughing stock'

Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "We have listened to the public and created a new blue, gold and white design that is in keeping with suggestions from residents.

"[It] gives us a unique opportunity to promote Portsmouth around the world."

She said there was "no change at all to the financial deal" following the U-turn.

"We wouldn't have to do any of this if we weren't so desperately short of money. We have a primary school places crisis at the moment - this money is going towards building new classrooms."

However Portsmouth's Liberal Democrat opposition said the saga had made the city the "laughing stock of the country".

Councillor Ben Dowling said: "It's good that the new design isn't red but we still have some fairly serious questions about the process that has taken place.

"Most Portsmouth people are asking 'why didn't we just get asked in the first place?' - someone surely would have pointed out that red wasn't the best idea."

The council said 115 litres of red paint already purchased by the airline would be made available to charities and community organisations in Hampshire.

Image copyright Portsmouth city council
Image caption The 170m high tower will be renamed the Emirates Spinnaker Tower

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates said: "We listened to the feedback and worked with the council to adapt the designs in order to create something that Portsmouth residents will be proud of."

An application for advertising consent has been posted on the Portsmouth City Council website.

It states: "Brand logo and brand name will be adhered to the tower legs and lower ground signage base."

There are currently 13 objections to the plans on the planning site.

Image copyright David Walton/Emirates
Image caption The authority had planned to paint the tower red as part of the £3.5m deal with Emirates

A number of them, made before the new design was released, ask for full plans to be made available for public consultation.

One states: "As no pictorial representation accompanies this application it is impossible to judge the acceptability of what is proposed. Therefore I object."

The tower is to be called the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in time for the America's Cup World Series sailing event in July.

Branding will remain in place for five years.

Image caption Reaction on the BBC South Today Facebook page to the change in colour scheme has been mixed

If advertising consent is approved the council will be permitted to have branding on the tower until June 2022.

The 560ft (170m) tower opened in 2005 and is owned by the council but run by a private company.

It is believed a planning committee meeting is to be held on 7 July to discuss the application.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The red and white of Southampton and blue of Portsmouth last clashed on the field in 2012

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