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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 October 2005, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Troubled Spinnaker given blessing
The tower was originally designed for the Millennium
A dedication service has been held at the much-delayed Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth ahead of its official opening on Tuesday.

The ceremony to bless the troubled tower was held on Sunday, just days after its operators finally announced it was to open.

That opening comes five years late and sees the tower massively over budget, at a cost of 35.6m.

MP Mike Hancock has labelled it an "icon to municipal incompetence".

The Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South, who is a city councillor, said: "It is a wonderful structure with a magnificent view and I am full of admiration for it.

"But it is an icon of municipal incompetence and blundering. It should never have been built in the first place."

The view from the top is totally awesome and it is amazing to see the postage stamp of a site that this huge structure has been built on
Roger Ching, Portsmouth City Council

The tower was not intended to cost local council taxpayers anything.

But so far Portsmouth City Council has paid 11.1m towards the construction.

Roger Ching, strategic director for corporate resources at Portsmouth City Council, said: "We are over budget and, yes, the tower is late, but now we have this fantastic tower structure.

"The view from the top is totally awesome and it is amazing to see the postage stamp of a site that this huge structure has been built on."


SEE ALSO:
Spinnaker Tower to finally open
13 Oct 05 |  Hampshire
Spinnaker 'will open next week'
12 Oct 05 |  Hampshire
Tower handover once again delayed
06 Oct 05 |  Hampshire
Tower to be ready within a week
29 Sep 05 |  Hampshire
Spinnaker Tower open date named
13 Sep 05 |  Hampshire
Troubled tower faces more delays
19 Aug 05 |  Hampshire
Troubled tower project tops 10m
08 Apr 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset


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