PLANS for branding that spells out ‘Emirates’ along 25m of the Spinnaker Tower have been approved.
A planning debate was held at Portsmouth City Council to discuss signs and logos on the tower’s legs and ground-floor facilities.
They will be marketing Portsmouth all over the world on every inbound and outbound flight to and from the UKCouncillor Donna Jones, city council leader
The plans include branding for Emirates between 9m and 25m long on the legs of the tower.
The airline giant secured the naming rights to the tower last month in a deal that will net the city millions of pounds.
The deal sees the landmark renamed the Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, spoke in support of the advertising.
It came despite concerns being raised later at full council that the deal was done in ‘secret’ – and that Emirates is based in the United Arab Emirates, where there are concerns over human rights.
Cllr Jones said: ‘I think the design is sensitive to the local heritage assets.
‘It’s good to redesign an iconic building to give it a fresh impact. This is a positive association. It complements Gunwharf very well. It’s a very strong and positive brand association.
‘They will be marketing Portsmouth all over the world on every inbound and outbound flight to and from the UK.
‘This is being done in choice places to make it look as attractive as possible.’
But resident Roger Butler disagreed.
He said: ‘This will be the tallest advertising building in the south of England.
‘The focal point of the area is without doubt the 550ft Spinnaker Tower.
‘It was a millennium gift to the citizens of Portsmouth.
‘This will be a massive detriment to the visual amenity value of the entire heritage waterfront. It will undermine Portsmouth’s reputation as a centre of culture and civic pride.’
Tory councillor Ken Ellcome, in support, said: ‘The one thing Emirates will do is improve tourism for the city.
‘The potential for tourism is great.’
The deal will see the local authority net £3.5m, with a further £1.5m going on advertisement of the city.
Speaking at the full council debate, Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt said ‘unnecessary controversy’ had been caused by the Tory council’s handling of the affair.
He said: ‘This process has not been open, it has not been transparent. It first appeared on the front page of The News.’
The tower is being painted blue and gold to tie in with the America’s Cup World Series in two weeks.
It comes after there was a huge public outcry at initial plans for the tower to be painted in red and white – the same colours as Pompey’s rivals Southampton.
The council went back to Emirates and came up with a new design.
The 100 litres of red paint which was bought initially to paint the tower has been given away to charities.