THE leader of Portsmouth City Council has said she has been overwhelmed by the positive response about the future of the Spinnaker Tower.
Major airline Emirates secured the naming rights of the city landmark on Friday, in a deal that will see Portsmouth City Council net £3.5m, with a further £1.5m going on advertisement of the city.
But in return Emirates wanted to paint the tower red, one of its main corporate colours, in time for when the America’s Cup Series comes to the city next month.
This suggestion was met with public outcry, and now the people of Portsmouth and beyond have had their say, sharing their views about how they would prefer the tower to look.
Council leader Donna Jones said: ‘I have been overwhelmed by the positivity today. People are saying thank you for listening.
‘I have had quite a few people sending in mocked-up pictures.
‘Lots of people have made up their own images of the tower and sent in some really interesting ones.
‘Many people have suggested gold or blue should be painted on the landmark.
‘I’m really open to ideas and suggestions. I have got to take on board what Emirates want - they are paying for it. It’s their name. They will want to go with a colour they are happy with.
‘But they are keen to take on board Portsmouth’s views and opinions.
‘They want to have a happy relationship with us going forward.’
A deadline of July 15 has been set for the unveiling of the new tower.
Initially, the painting would have needed to have been completed by the end of the week, but a different design with less painting required could change the timescale and give more time for it to be finished.
A decision about the design is likely to be reached in the next few days.
Ellis Hampton, 18, from North End, sent in a design of the tower with part of it painted gold - another of the airline’s colours.
He said: ‘Initially I heard the news of the deal and I do think it’s a great deal for the city.
‘I didn’t like the design of it at all though, and away from the Southampton colour debate, I think the design of it was too drastic and covered up the Spinnaker’s bold look.
‘I would describe the Spinnaker as a modern iconic landmark so I don’t think it should be visually changed that much.
‘I chose the gold because it’s what Emirates use on their airlines and I think it should be used subtly and not distract from the tower’s iconic look.
‘I think it’s very important they consider local people’s views as the tower globally represents the city and you’ve got to have a defining image the people can be proud of.’
Residents have until 9am tomorrow to share their views about the future of the tower.
Anyone wishing to have their say should email firstname.lastname@example.org
When contacted by The News, Emirates declined to comment.