THE fiasco over the Emirates Spinnaker Tower sponsorship deal has finally been resolved.
Portsmouth City Council has received consent from the Big Lottery Fund to secure a lucrative sponsorship package from the Dubai airline.
The agreement will help sustain the future of the Spinnaker Tower, which will be known as the Emirates Spinnaker Tower for the duration of the sponsorship agreement, as it will bring increased benefits to the Tower and therefore the local community.Michael Lawther, Portsmouth City Council’s deputy chief executive
The council revealed last month it was getting £3.5m from the firm in return for the Spinnaker’s naming rights.
But there was controversy over the deal as the council had failed to get permission from the lottery fund before making it public.
Consent was required as the council used £15m of a £40m grant awarded by the former Millennium Commission to transform the harbour for the building of the tower.
While the commission was wound down in 2006, the Big Lottery Fund took up its responsibilities and has authority over the structure.
The council says it has not had to give the lottery fund money to secure its consent – but has agreed to continue advertising that the tower had lottery support.
Michael Lawther, deputy chief executive of the council, said: ‘The Big Lottery Fund has confirmed its consent to the sponsorship agreement reached between Portsmouth City Council and Emirates.
‘The agreement will help sustain the future of the Spinnaker Tower, which will be known as the Emirates Spinnaker Tower for the duration of the sponsorship agreement, as it will bring increased benefits to the tower and therefore the local community.
‘We will continue to acknowledge National Lottery funding at the tower and in its marketing and sponsorship activities.’
Emirates is also spending £1.5m advertising Portsmouth on flights, in VIP lounges and magazines.
Councillor Donna Jones, Tory council leader, said: ‘I am delighted the terms and conditions have been agreed.
‘The lottery fund has given its consent in writing and it is happy with the community benefits coming off the back of the £5m sponsorship deal, which is made up of £3.5m cash for the city.’
The tower now features Emirates branding and the structure’s legs were painted blue ahead of the America’s Cup World Series as part of the rebrand. Part of the top will be painted metallic gold in the coming months.
The original red and white design put forward – to reflect Emirates’ corporate colours – sparked controversy given the colours’ association with Southampton Football Club.