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Portsmouth's most iconic landmark has reached new heights by joining a list of the world's greatest towers.

The Spinnaker Tower is now listed alongside the Eiffel Tower, CN Tower in Toronto and other global landmarks as a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

Based in Australia, the Federation is an international association of monuments, which work together for promotion purposes.

Membership means the Spinnaker now also stands tall alongside New York's Empire State Building and Seattle's Space Needle.

Paul Mahy, Spinnaker's commercial manager, said: 'It's fantastic to be part of this. We were approached by them and jumped at the chance. The tower itself is an integral part of the south coast skyline and important to the region's tourism. With this new membership, we'll have even greater chances to extend that appeal to an international audience.'

To join the group, the buildings must be symbolic of tourism in their surrounding area, be open and functioning as a public area and have an observation deck.

Mr Mahy said: 'We have three observation decks, so we had no problems there. We're looking forward to working with the teams at the other towers. I think we will all be able to help one another along with promotions and campaigns.'

Spinnaker Tower is the 32nd member of the group, which set up in 1989. It has beaten Dubai's 2,717ft Burj Khalifa Tower - the world's tallest - into the Federation, though the Middle Eastern monument will join later this year. Spinnaker is also only the second UK tower to join, with Blackpool Tower the first.

To celebrate, tower bosses will allow anyone over 6ft 6 inches tall - without shoes - to get in for free on Saturday and Sunday.

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