Published on Sunday, 5th July 2015

There’s been a great deal of controversy over the deal with Emirates Airlines to sponsor the Spinnaker Tower, but setting emotions aside for a moment, it’s a really positive result for Portsmouth.


The city will be promoted on Emirates’ aircraft and will be associated with the airline - which is good for the economy. In my role over planning and corporate property I meet quite a few businessmen – many from London and some from abroad – and they all mention Ben Ainslie and those I have spoken to recently have mentioned the tower as well (which all surprises me, but they are both important to the image of Portsmouth). There will be an investment somewhere in the city or the region that takes place because of it.


Even more importantly the council will receive £3.5m in cash over a five year period. The £700,000 a year payment is roughly equivalent to the total cost of running community centres and school crossing patrols – it is not an insignificant sum. The council has to cut spending by another £10m every year and it is becoming increasingly difficult to balance the books. This cash will really help.


It is also very much at the upper end of expectations of what we thought we would get for the naming rights (…and if you think that’s a case of ‘he would say that wouldn’t he’, I refer you to the council budget: that allowed for £80 000 from tower sponsorship in 2015/6. Of course that was only going to cover part of the financial year and the figure was necessarily cautious, but even so it points to this payment being a generous one)


Tags: Spinnaker, Commercialisation