Home ... Kent ... Kent Eye ferris wheel set for a return to university campus in Canterbury

Kent Eye ferris wheel set for a return to university campus in Canterbury

The controversial Ferris wheel which formed a distinctive part of the city’s skyline at the University of Kent last summer is scheduled for a return.

Campus bosses have applied for permission to re-erect the 36m high structure – resembling the capital’s London Eye – between July and October.

The attraction will be on the meadow between Eliot and Rutherford colleges, and will offer unparalleled views of the Cathedral and city centre.

The Kent Eye is to cost £35,000 a month

The Kent Eye is to cost £35,000 a month

 

Last year, freedom of information requests revealed that the university had splashed out £54,800 on the wheel for a three-and-a-half week run.

The revelations led some students to accuse the university of wasting money.

Daniel Hicks, a second year student at the time, told the university’s InQuire magazine: “The way I see it, the university is using our tuition fees to pay for a frankly unnecessary wheel.

The ferris wheel from above. Photo by Richard Durrant

The ferris wheel from above. Photo by Richard Durrant

“Sounds like they could easily put that money to better use and not waste it on a ferris wheel.”

Ginny Sanderson, studying English and American literature, was quoted as saying: “Let’s be honest, as novel as it was, it was rarely full.

“That’s probably a lot down to the pricing – if it had been cheaper it would have probably received a lot more interest.

Steel structure more than 30m tall

Steel structure more than 30m tall

“It was a fun idea, and impressive, but there is so much that money could have been spent on.”

Martin Herrema, a spokesman for Kent University, said the Kent Wheel would this year cost £35,000 per month to hire.

During last year’s run it raised £36,000 in ticket sales which went to the university’s Kent Opportunity Fund, which provides scholarships and bursaries to students suffering financial hardship.

Tickets cost £5 full price, £3 for students.

The Kent Eye last year

The Kent Eye last year

The attraction is not for the faint-hearted

The attraction is not for the faint-hearted

Prof Keith Mander, deputy vice-chancellor, said: “The University of Kent is very fortunate in its location in Canterbury and from our campus we have a stunning view of a city we are proud to call home.

“Last year we brought a 33-metre high ferris wheel to our campus as part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations and it was such a success that it will return for the summer.

“We hope people from across Kent will come to enjoy this unique attraction.”

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