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You are in: Bristol > Have Your Say > Have your say: Arena plan is scrapped

Bristol Arena - artist's impression of the venue

Have your say: Arena plan is scrapped

Bristol Arena - a planned entertainment venue near Temple Meads Railway Station - will now not go ahead. We want to know what you think about this.

Bristol City Council and the South West Regional Development Agency estimate they would have had to put in £86m to help fund the project.

The arena would have featured 10,000 seats and helped the city attract top music acts.

A mixed housing and commercial development is still planned, though.

Ian Knight, South West RDA Area Director, said: "We are very disappointed that it has not proved feasible to build an arena for Bristol, but the latest figures show that it would simply not be a good use of public money."

Terry Wagstaff, Assistant Chief Executive at Bristol City Council, said: "Everyone has tried to develop a viable scheme to deliver an Arena and we are all disappointed that it has not proved possible to do so."

What's your reaction to the news? Are you disappointed that the arena will not be built? Are you glad the council pulled out as costs spiralled? Or was the whole scheme doomed from the start?

Fill in the form below and have your say - we'll publish the best comments on this page.

last updated: 14/12/2007 at 11:10
created: 13/12/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Steve
It is a great oversight not to have an arena in Bristol as people are fed up travelling to concerts. It may also have got Bristol finally awarded the City of culture which brings in large amounts of money. I hope Bristol city football club do help and get permission to build the stadium and arena if that is what they descide to do as it would put Bristol on the music touring map.

Adam
If the council are fully behind Bristol City FC's decision to rebuild their stadium (potentially alongside the Next Generation Gym in Long Ashton) then surely the council could look into redeveloping Ashton Gate as a viable Arena or trying to combine the new stadium with an arena complex. With concerns about how to fund such a large project, aiming to be a 40 000 seater stadium, should we expect to be dissapointed yet again? I think so.

Mike Keen
Reckon some of the poor estatates in Bristol could do with the money.

JAMES
The arena was supposed to be entirely funded by private money but suprise they wanted money from the council to the tune of 86 million pounds which if the bath spa project is anything to go by that would have increased. It is better it got cancelled now instead of half way through

Nobby
It's obvious this lot of 'elected' and non-elected people running this city are useless. Who else will re-build a main bus station that is some way away from the main railway station? What dimwit thought that was a good idea? More people should read the 'Bristol Blooger' (google it!).

Ant
I was not surprised but still upset and embarressed it is not going ahead. Yes it wasnt in the best location, yes it was going to cost a lot. Perhaps the council will have some vision, stop wasting time and money on other projects that wont come to fruition or be visited and build an arena on the outskirts of the city with good transport links?

Paul Spear
Although Bristol is in need of an Arena, I believe it is a good thing that the project did not go ahead at this location.

Keith Rodgerson
Sadly I suppose that if Bristol had built an Arena which I'd have loved, it would have soon gone the way of Imax, Wildwalk, The Old Vic and the Commonwealth museum through lack of local support. I don't hold out any hope for the Museum of Bristol either. As for the Colston Hall, what is the point of doing the foyer without renewing the hall (as an arena perhaps)??

Colin
Brilliant! it was in completely the wromg place, God knows train fares are scandalous and that was the only way of getting to it. Let's hope any future development has decent parking and coach drop off points on it's doorstep, at least the NEC at brum and Cardiff venues cater for the majority who own their own, inexpensive, form of transport! and don't live within walking distance of a train station. Let's charge the Councillors with fraud, although most of it no doubt went on fact finding tours and expensive lunches

Nick
I find it Funny how if you dont pay your council tax you are branded a criminal, but if the council evaporate 15m of taxpayers money into thin air they are branded "inept".... something not quite right there...

Wendy Hughes
Very disappointed. An arena like this has been long overdue in Bristol. We now have the opportunity to bring Bristol in line with other major cities. It was an ideal situation - close to a major railway station. Considering the money that has already been spent on this project, I feel that 'pulling out' at this stage is very short-sighted.

MOWSM
What is the matter with these people who have decided that the Bristol Arena is not to be. I for one was absolutely disgusted to hear this. Do they not have an idea of the revenue this Arena would bring to Bristol. Everyone has to travel to Cardiff which is probably the nearest or to Birmingham and other areas in the UK. Have some thought for your people and perhaps save them the expense of travelling far afield to see their favourite artists. Please think of the people from Bristol and surrounding areas and not yourselves. Please please let this Arena be built. You will not regret reversing your decision for the building to go ahead.

Dave
Some interesting figures mentioned today by a member of the RDA. He says government spending is skewed from places like Bristol which for every £1 it receives, Glasgow receives £15 and Cardiff £8. The new Liverpool Arena was funded by the EU. As the City Council spokesman says, Bristol gets none of this help because it is considered too economically successful. The result is that much of the wealth that is raised in Bristol goes into a central pot to be redistributed. That is more of a scandal that the useless city council but, even here, we the public must take some of the blame for continually voting in a hung council.

Ben
I think its a very poor decision. We are one of the largest cities not to have an arena and it would attract major business and acts to our area instead of cardiff and brimingham. I am really gutted that its not happening!

Bill Mather
Yet again the Council has managed to make a complete hash of a great development for Bristol as the Arena goes the way of the light rail scheme and the Hengrove sports facility (not the glorified gymnasium that we will be left with, after the Council sold-off most of the land for retail units). As the sixth biggest city in England, Bristol needs a facility to rival those of every other major (and minor) city in the country. Without it Bristol can never attract major events and will remain a second-rate city.Why does every decent idea in Bristol turn into a complete disaster? There can be no excuse for such incompetence. These muppets need to be ousted.I can only assume Bristol City are planning on building their new stadium in North Somerset, as they have absolutely no chance of doing anything within Bristol City Council controlled borders.

Jason Selby
It is a disgrace to the city of Bristol that it has not had a large venue for so long.I believe that there is still a place where the larger acts can play - Recently The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum has stated it is moving to London. Surely the money would be better suited re-establishing the historical heart of Bristol as one of the most beautiful venues that any act worth anything would love to come and play at, I plead with the council or any "Grand Fromage" to not let this be developed into luxurious apartments like many other commemorated buildings.

48/49
Adrian Utley is spot on, of course - he's played around the world in a top act and seen what can be achieved in towns and cities far smaller than Bristol. But I would like to point out that the Colston Hall is shocking for live music - as much as I loved seeing Portishead there in '98, it was tarnished by the sound - without delving into the race issue with the Colston Hall that acts like Massive Attack have with the place. But by all accounts it wasn't Portishead's first choice - the Anson Rooms access points couldn't fit their equipment if I recall correctly. It just highlights the inadequacy of music venues in Bristol.

Peter C
The only people with any vision for Bristol as a major cultural venue is now Bristol City, and watch what will happen next when out inept councillors in a fit of sour grapes try to block City doing what they are incapable of - building a decent venue. At least our counsellors are consistent - from schools to culture they take Bristol to lowest possible level.

Paul
Bristol - a first class city with third world councillors. The phrase that comes to mind speaks of an inability to organise drinks parties in breweries!

Steve Collins
Simon Caplan, corporate spokesman for Bristol City Council, has a point when he says that the Council isn't solely to blame for the Arena failure and that the funding wasn't neccessarily going to come from the Council itself. However, he fails to understand the depth of disenchantment amongst Bristolians about the direction our beautiful city is going in.This latest disappointment is very much the straw that breaks the camel's back. That's why there has been such a massive outpouring of anger and resentment on BBC Bristol and through other media in the city.The Arena debacle is just the latest in a long, long line of UTTER DISAPPOINTMENT that Bristolians have had to endure. We are sick to death of reading that our primary and secondary schools are among the worst in the country, that our theatres, cultural attractions and museums are closing or relocating. We are also absolutely fed up with having to endure the abysmal public transport that benights our city. All of this has happened as a direct result of the inadequacies and failings of the Council that he spins for. Bristolians have had enough of being a national laughing stock and of living in a city where nothing worthwhile ever gets done and where the wishes of the citizens are routinely ignored.Sure, we've got a few refurbished libraries and a couple of leisure complexes, but this should be the bread and butter that our council delivers - the absolute basics. Even the local councils of small market towns can deliver libraries and pools - somewhere like Dursley has both, so I have no idea why he thinks that trumpeting this is some kind of victory or giant leap forward for Bristol. It's not. It's the least we should expect for our council tax. And to claim that the money for the Arena would be better spent on building schools is simply disingenuous. Bristol's schools have been refurbished with private money, not Council funding and they're not exactly raising our woeful education standards, are they? And as for expanding Park and Ride sites, well basically you're just supplying us with a couple of acres of painted tarmac -is that really the best you can do, Mr Caplan?A large regional capital such as Bristol deserves far better facilities than we have. Our Council and the local quangos have SPECTACULARLY FAILED to deliver any of these. The Tram, the Arena, Harbourside concert hall - the list goes on.So what if the Colston Hall is being refurbished? The Council is spending £18 million on a new foyer, bar and ticket office for the venue - hardly value for money or a wise way to spend our council tax is it?And again, a Museum of Bristol - so what? It's not exactly set pulses racing has it? Bristolians want their city to feel like a great European city - just like the corporate babble put out by the Council claims. Instead we're getting a deteriorating provincial backwater thanks to the small minded amateurs that run the city. The Council, SWRDA, Business West, the Government Office of the South West are all failing to deliver, and FAILING BIG TIME. In my job I travel all over England and frequently visit all of Bristol's competitor cites. We are so far behind them in terms of transport, education, leisure facilities, cultural venues and tourist attractions, it's just plain embarassing. The Arenas in Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Sheffield, Brighton, Bournemouth etc don't appear, as Mr Caplan states, "unviable", so why is Bristol's?What Bristol City Council is very, very good at is reducing the services we pay for and for fleecing Bristolians of our hard-earned cash. I'm talking about the privatisation of home care, the closing of special schools, charging people to park outisde their own homes, reducing rubbish collections, charging for rubbish collections and trying to bring in a congestion charge whilst we have the worst and most expensive public transport of any British city.Simon Caplan is trying to defend the indefensible - the abject failure of the policies of his employer, Bristol City Council.Well, Bristolians have ha

Peter Weeks
If Bristol can't compete with other cities on music venues then I suggest we set out to compete and win at other things. Good public transport is top of my list. If we can have a good system of public transport like say Glasgow, Amsterdam, Stockholm or Manchester this would make a big difference to the daily lives of many Bristolians.

linda
I can't remember the last time i went to see a band at a Bristol venue, yet again i will have to continue to travel to London/Cardiff/Brimingham etc, to see my favourite acts. having 1 or 2 shows at Ashton Gate each year is not the same, its all very nice when the sun shines but with the UK summer you have a big chance of getting soaked. This news is a BIG disappointment.

Smug observer
Governments, be they local or otherwise, reflect those who vote for them. This situation is a sad reflection of the political apathy of Bristolians.

Matt
That there still isn't, and apparently won't be, an arena in the south west is simply appalling. Apart from the income lost by the city, the cost, both financially and environmentally, of people driving long distances to go to such places is ridiculous.Firstly, I would question why they wanted a 10,000 seater arena? That's too big and I doubt the transport infrastructure could support it. The sound at the NEC, Wembley Arena, Excel, and suchlike is dreadful and we would be competing with the massive Millenium Stadium. Far better would have been a smaller venue similar to the CIA in Cardiff - that's only 7,500 standing (5,000 seater). Why did they set their sights so big? Where they just doing what they were told by the contractors?Secondly, since the site is now no longer going to be used for a general public facility, will the council be demanding any of their money back? SWRDA have got their land on the cheap and will benefit further from the rental of the properties built. I note that their proposed "affordable housing" in TQ2 will start at £155,000 - in other words, not affordable to anyone on less than £40k a year!

Andy
Bristol is jam packed with small venues that attract high quality acts. These acts are much greater in numbers than are attracted to cities such as Birmingham and Cardiff. If anyone has ever been to the CIA then you’ll know that it is rubbish. Cardiff suffers culturally from having the CIA and the Millennium stadium, having very few smaller venues. The only thing Bristol misses out on is the big conferences and exhibitions which is a shame but not that bad.

Positive slant
The only positive remark in this thread is from the head of corporate communications, Br. Some good excuses, now everyone's blaming everyone else. Same old same old. Let's tell the world how clever our city is, and maybe build a few more bus lanes. I'm glad these people in charge don't build aeroplanes. Who are the SWRDA anyway? That's not the ones Margaret Thatcher and Michael Hesseltine brought in to rejuvenate the area, is it? I expect we'll see another load of office blocks on the site, right next to the railway station no-one can afford to get to now, thanks to the delayed Worst Great Western. I'm ranting again, my doctor tells me I should stop.

Chris
I have never written a letter of this type before in my entire life, however at the news that the Bristol Arena will now not be built, I felt compelled to contact you to let you know of my utter disgust.I have been living Bristol bar a short stint in London for 28 ½ years and have seen us go from a city in the early 90’s that was attracting new businesses and under going major development and competing with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester and even Birmingham, to one that has stagnated and fallen way behind. Why any new business or tourist would be attracted to this city now would completely bemuse me! And for me this decision to cancel the Bristol Arena completely epitomises the issue which is the fact that Bristol City Council and the councillors are completely inept. I understand the reason is they have no money! Surely they budgeted and planned for this; it is not acceptable to waste 15 million on public spending and once again I suspect no one will be held accountable. If any other business where to waste 15 million, then the repercussions would probably be terminal for that organisation, but no doubt it will all be forgotten until the next incident.In my personal opinion Bristol is being hindered by an over bureaucratic group of councillors who seemed to take a perverse pleasure in objecting to development proposals, in general for no solid reason but as they see it as an opportunity to exert some power and this is coupled with a inept local council.To be honest I partly blame myself, I shouldn’t have dared to dream that the council would have finally shared the aspirations of the city we all love and should have realised after all these years of consistent disappointment that their short sightedness would only lead to them wasting this great opportunity. Sadly it reminds me of a similar situation about 7 years ago when the council received a windfall and the community were consulted over the possibility of a tram system, indoor arena, sporting arena among other proposals. Consistently there was so much inter bickering and delay none of the options came to fruition and the money was never to be seen.Strange how cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, London etc don’t seem to have these problems, but I guess as Bristolians we can no longer compare ourselves to them.Yours, a thoroughly despondent and frustrated BristolianChris Townsend

Tony
Another expected loss, and another shining example of this city's "Can't do" attitude. I was looking forward to catching the tram to see a big name band at the arena. The good news for culture in Bristol is that it doesn't take long to get to Cardiff, London, or Brirmingham, and doesn't cost much unless you use public transport. I'm definitely going to vote against the SWRDA at the next opportunity, and the city council are doomed as well. I think I might go and live somewhere more civilised and positive. Baghdad springs to mind. I suppose my council tax bill will go up because of this debacle. I mean blimey, even Bath managed to build its spa, albeit over budget and centuries late. I blame the Olympics, which mean that any money for public building projects will go to London until 2012. Let's pray we don't win the World Cup as well. Adrian plays fine guitar.

Phil
Can we at least have a committment that the same area of land that would have been used for the arena will instead be given over to a public leisure facility / open space? A new PARK for Bristol would be a great second best.

John
Successful cities have stable councils, which can act with vision. Bristol keeps changing the complection of its council, which is why no one of vision and drive will be prepared to devote their lives to the city. Even long term councillors have had to develop other interests for when they are out of power. Perhaps it is time to have a Lord Mayor with the powers that Ken Livingston has in London. You may not agree with everything he does, but at least some things get done. We need a leader with vision who knows they will be in power longer than the two years this present crowd has.

Sharky
I'm currently working in Boulder, Colorado- population 50,000. (twice the population of Yate). They have an arena here which is used for sports events and concerts which seats 60,000. Read this and be ashamed of yourselves, Bristol City Council!

Martin Slade
Bristol is still a hamlet and will remain so until our shortsighted councillors wake up to what people want. This venue would have brought people into the city from as far as Devon and Cornwall for top artists, now we have to travel to Cardiff, Birmingham or London to see our favourite bands and musicians. CITY council?- Amateurs the lot of them!

Helium
Can't say i'm surprised at all, I would say this is less about the Arena and much more about the incompetance of our city's Council (well, actually all of the Unitary districts that were once Avon dont have particularily good councils, its just now it's in more managebale chunks!)

Dominic Fox
The city of bristol council and the SWRDA really do not seem to have any integrated long term plans for Bristol and the truth is that unless you have an elected mayor like Ken Livingstone ( ie someone who has a vision ) to push plans through then Bristol will be doomed to second rate or failed projects. Bristol neeeds to expand if it is to remain an important city and it will only achieve this with visionary leadership not commitees.

Barrie Lovell
The comment that it would simply not be a good use of public money, is absurd!.It would be used by thousands of people of all ages from all over the south west who have no large indoor stadium! This has to be good use of public money because it will bring great enjoyment to all in this area especially where in our lives there are so many sad times! It would of been built if Bristol had won the City of Culture! Come on you rigid officials & councillors give the peoples of the south west something to cheer them up and be proud of because Bristol is viewed as a large City with backward facilities for its people!!!

Barrie Nash
It would have been Bath Spa all over again with the tax payers paying for ever.We need Avon back.

nimmers
No decent ice rink, no concert venue, no fun swimming pool with slides.Hey but at least we have the explore at bristol and more houses. GREAT.what a complete joke.

Ron
This is a council that spectacularly messed up the simple distribution of green wheelie bins. What chance did those same idiots have of organising the building of a major arena? Obviously, none! This has to be one of the most inefficient councils in the UK, and the really sad thing is that Bristolians can't do anything about it.

Paul
Yet another example of how Bristol City Council cannot organise a proverbial >?@: up in a brewery!

Pressure Drop
Is anybody really, genuinely surprised?, just add it to the long, sorry list of disappointments for long suffering Bristolians, for a city the size of Bristol, it's appalling what we have to put up. For all that though, I think it would have been in the wrong place - the right place? Smack, bang right in the middle of the city to bring people in and spend time enjoying the place - it should have been build on the Harbourside development + a real leisure centre for all us locals, instead what have we got there?, overpriced and underused flats and boring office blocks - sorry I even think the Exploratory is a waste of time, visit it once and that's it.This is what we could have won:1. Football stadium/sports arena with running track - Eastville instead of monstrous Ikea, perfect road and rail links.2. Trams running the length of the M32 linked to Park and Ride & Hambrook, into Cabots Circus, Temple Meads, Centre and up Park Street.3. Arena and leisure centre complete with Olympic size pool and wave machines, with imported beach in the summer - on current Harbourside development.4. Conference hall - site of Courages brewery.Oh well, we can all dream.

Knobby
Oh well, at least this news gives the appalling First Group a day off from being bashed by Bristolians.

Cheesed off
I wonder where Bristol's culture supremo, Andrew Kelly, is currently hiding?He's the one who spearheaded our doomed bid to be European capital of Culture 2008. After we lost out to Liverpool, Kelly claimed that Bristol would drive ahead it's ambitious cultural plans, including those for an Arena.Well, Andrew, it's not exactly happenned like you said, has it?No Arena, no Old Vic, no Wildwalk, no IMAX, no Ashton Court Festival - NO CULTURE.

Bristol is a joke
I am a Bristolian born and bred, I love this city but it's going backwards. I now have a young family and I've made the decision to move away from the city.Over the past few years our schools have got worse and worse. Our public transport is just appalling. Bristol's cultural life has imploded. The council is desperate to rip-off its citizens. Housing is absurdly expensive. We've got very poor sporting facilities and it seems that unless its flats or shops, no project ever seems to come to fruition in Bristol.I have absolutely no faith in the Council or the failed SWRDA to improve matters and I've had enough of my beloved Bristol being despoiled by the amateur idiots that run the city.I'm off.

Jane
The council can find £18 million on a foyer - yes a foyer - for the Colston Hall, yet they can't sort out a much needed Arena for our city.What a total shambles.

Steve
Bristol a 2nd rate city?You must be joking, we're a 3rd or 4th rate city.Bristol is truly the graveyard of ambition. Nothing gets done - ever.We are supposed to be the regional capital of the South West with a million people living within a 30 minute drive yet we have the worst civic facilities of any city in the UK.We have the worst public transport courtesy of First Group. Our schools, both primary and secondary are consistently at the bottom of the league tables. We have non-existent sporting facilities, two out of three of the Millenium Harbourside attractions have closed, our main theatre has closed - the list goes on.If the likes of the City Council and the SWRDA were livestock they would have been put out of their misery years ago.The incompetence of our civic leaders is quite breathtaking. How they have the bare-faced cheek to pick up their pay packets every month is beyond me.Welcome to Bristol - all the drawbacks of a major city (crime, pollution, unaffordable housing, congestion) with none of the benefits.

Simon Caplan, Head of Corporate Communications, Br
A number of points made in this message board need to be answered as they are inaccurate and misleading.1. The land that was earmarked for the Arena is not owned by the council and never was - it is owned by the South West Regional Development Agency who bought it from the private sector.2. No council in the UK has funded and built an Arena itself. They are mostly commercially built and run facilities and most public sector investment in their development comes from one government agency or another, sometimes supported with EU funding. Bristol does not qualify for that kind of government and EU support because we are not as economically disadvantaged as some other cities. Neither do we have the same amount of derelict ex-industrial land ready for building close to the city centre that other cities often have. This disappointing news is not a failing of the city council, who had done everything to try to make a scheme happen and had commmitted some £16m to the project - none of which has yet been spent or wasted.3. Arena developers and operators do not now want to build on the edge of cities - they want to be in or close to the middle. This was the only suitable site as regards size, access and regeneration benefits.4. To put the £86 million funding gap in context: the council's total capital programme over the next 3 years is worth £200m - and it is still trying to work out how to fund £30 million of that. Most capital spending cash is borrowed money and there is an interest charge to the taxpayer - the BBC listener. The council doesn't just have such amounts of money in the bank.5. Put another way, £86m would rebuild around 6 or 7 secondary schools. Which ones could be left out of our ambitious school rebuild replacement programme that aims to help improve education in order to fund an Arena?6. As well as the new schools, we are redeveloping and improving Colston Hall; developing a new Museum of Bristol; expanding Park and Ride sites and taking forward plans for a new leisure complex with a 50 metre pool at Hengrove. This follows on from the new leisure complexes at Horfield and Henbury and refurbishments at Easton and Kingsdown plus 3 new libraries and 6 other refurbished in the last few years. It is wrong to say we are not investing in leisure and culture facilities.7. Everyone's disappointed not just the BBC's message board contributors - but they would have been the first to criticise the council if it hadn't explored every avenue to try to develop an Arena. Councillors and council officers worked hard to try to make this work but itn is better to be honest with people now than enter into an unviable scheme and face potential financial disaster further down the line.

Mike
Bristol is a second rate City which has not been run by Bristolian's for many years. I have no suprise at millions for a talking shop with no results.

Tom Morris
Can we now sink our differences and, as residents of this potentially great city, collectively put in place a vote of no confidence in our council? Even with no one in place the results can't be any worse than we get now, but at least we won't have their costs and expenses

Mark Thomas
Let's all accept that our council is inept in every respect, abolish them, and get a new administration that can meet not the minimum performance requirements, not sufficient, but a high level of competency

Geoff Leonard
The Arena just joins the list of things in Bristol that have been delayed for years or cancelled. This includes the appalling public transport system.We learn today that the new City Council Chief Executive cannot start her job until Easter. This rather sums up the council for me, delay and more delay. Time for an elected Mayor who will get things done!

mark
the council is run buy total half wits probly all supporting bc fc

Anon
Bristol couldn't organise a booze up in brewery. The super tram was scrapped because two Councils couldn't agree as to where it should terminate and now this fiasco

Peter Adams, Henbury
It's a conspiracy by this government to keep Bristol a backwater whilst the New Labour preferred cities of Cardiff and Birmingham get the cream. Remember which party screwed this city at the next election - duly assisted by its incompetent colleagues at city council and SWRDA. Rid us of these overpaid idiots!

Scott Jacobs-Lange
It is just incredible that this city cannot summon up whatever is required to put it into the premier league of English cities. I am extremely disappointed with all concerned that all that public money from SWRDA has effectively been handed over to private developers to build more unimaginative flats and offices which will not give our city and noticeable benefit. An utter disgrace to the city and the South West!

Peter Smith
£13 million wasted, who is going to pay the tax payers back? and who's neck in on the line for their dismal display. It verges on fraud and theft.

Pete White
I wonder if this has anything to do with the building of a new ground for Bristol City as this will feasibly be an arena for bands as well.As a City fan I would say the stadium is needed now more than ever.

Surprise Surprise
What a joke this council is, pathetic! We need real people running this City and fast, like the others on here say we now lag long way behind alot of other cities in the UK, its shocking completely shocking, I bet they don't manage to screw the congestion charge up though as that will make them a fortune, especially with the poor transport system this city has to offer. Do we really need more overpriced housing and shops? No, but we do need a decent sized arena, sort it out councillors. Surely something has to be done about these jokers? They are dragging this city down the drains.

Muppets
Pretty soon alll that will be left in Bristol will be call centres, average shops, and brand new empty ugly apartment blocks surrounded by traffic in permanent gridlock. Well done to Bristol City Council for once again representing the needs of the city so well. I would love to know what it is they actually do all day

Steve, St George
Another example of our shockingly poor council: it's SuperTram all over again. Bristol lacks a vision and a purpose - the council seems to charge ever more and deliver ever less: poor schools, bad public transport and terrible leisure facilities. Can we please have some leaders who have both vision AND management skills!

Matt
Just listened to the Terry Wagstaff interview. No wonder this city is up the creek with people like that running it.

not surprised
Our truly inept council show their true colours yet again. Get someone with some vision and drive! Sell the land (along with all the other stuff you have decided to sell recently to raise some revenue)and let a private company build and run the place. Bristol will continue to be a backwater I'm afraid. And City fans hope for a new stadium? With this council?!

Graham
What a surprise, concert venue dropped from water front because of arena, then dropped from the arena as well.Can there be a worse council in Britain? Rubbish schools, shocking transport links and absolutely no sporting or leisure facilities.No surprise that yet more land is sold off for apartments and uneeded offices, though.What a bunch of clowns.

jamie morris
this shows why bistol is so far behind other major cities! major dissapointment!

kate corwyn
Typical Bristol, never prepared to pay the money to get a first rate facility. As a result Bristol is a second rate city.

steve stafford
once again bristol city council proves it self to be adept in provideing a need to the city of bristol and of course this has nothing to do with goverment plans for new affordable houseing some councils move forward some back but good old bristol stays exactly where it is

Nolonger Care
Was it ever going to happen? Still, plenty of room now to build some more high rise slums. --Sorry, very expensive executive apartments. Next to a railway station that boasts a very poor and expensive service.What is happening to this once proud city of ours?

val
isn't this just a reflection of greed over offering Bristolians decent facilities? I'm sure more can be made from building and selling houses rather than building an arena. Short sighted council as always

Jer
Typical Bristol. The way things are going, Bristol will be the 2nd biggest city in the UK soon, but with absolutely no leisure or transport facilities. Well done Bristol City council. Not.

Mark, Brislington
No surprise is it? There is no doubt more money to be made from housing. The Council have again shown what a dinosaur they are, totally incompetent in dealing with every issue that would be of benefit to Bristolians.The list is endless,no decent football/sports stadium,theatre or music venue, poor road network, poor bus service, poor schools,poor hospitals etc etc.Do the honourable thing Council and resign on block.

48/49
I'm not dissapointed or sad about this, I'm just plain incensed. Why must Bristol lag behind places like Nottingham, Cardiff or even Bournemouth? I spend time in other cities in the UK and can't even begin to compare them anymore - we have no sense of what it is to live in a big city here, aside from the congestion and cost of living. The joke's on us and is becoming old very quickly. Did the council stop to think about a) the knock on economic effects of not bringing thousands of people regularly into the centre - they would all need to use amenities such as bars and hotels? b) using the area for housing - what about the issues surrounding transport and jams around that area at present? c) the simple factor of prestige for this city? Nope, they just did the easy thing and bottled it.

Andrew Brace
As the land has been cleared and planning permission obtained for the arena why not take the opportunity to use the site for a joint stadium for Bristol Rovers and City. It is in a neutral location and as both clubs have the money for new grounds surely this is worth exploring.

Chris Parc
Once again Bristol get let down. No tram instead useless busses now no arena. At what point will our apathetitic and self serving council realise they need to invest money in our city to make it great. No doubt we will just be treated to yet more indetikit flats with no parking faciliites on a totally unsuitable location.

Dave
It was going to be situated in the wrong place anyway. No surprise really when i heard it's been scrapped. Yet again Bristol will have to wait for another chance to get its much awaited arena. appalling really seeing as were the 7/8th biggest City in the UK.

Martin
This is such a missed oportunity! Look how much better places like Cardiff are, with the bigger venues. Such a shame Bristol will be missed off the music circuit! should have invested in the arena rather than wasting money on the colston hall.

David Thompson
This is such dreadful dissapointment. Bristol's reputation as a cultural city is being tarnished. The City desperately needs a decent concert venue. I can't think of any other major UK city that's so under-served. This decision makes the city appear unambitious and totally lacking in vision. Can't they find more private investment?

Rob
What a surprise....I thought with all the new developments going on that finally Bristol had the confidence to invest in itself to provide the facilities a city of this size and catchment area deserves.Sadly, once again, it seems not.

Mark, Horfield, Bristol
Yes, we've got smaller venues in Bristol that are absolutely great for intimate gigs, but excluding Ashton Gate (which is a football ground!) the nearest venue to attract big acts is in Cardiff!Bristol lost out on the 2008 City of Culture to Liverpool. Is it any wonder when we have no modern, large venue to put on concerts/shows/exhibition. Bristol is crying out for a venue of this kind. Come on Bristol City Council, open your narrow minds!!Also, as Barnesy says, how much money was wasted on the 'development stages'??!!

Dan Trainer
Typical! Bristol remains a backwater when it should be the premiere city of the South West. How short sighted!

B Dylan
A complete joke. Bristol is a laughing stock and once again has to make do with second rate facilities. Mind you, until the council sort out the traffic problems around that area perhaps it's better the arena has been pulled...

Barnesy
Why have we, as Bristolians, still not got a venue that is easy to reach and got plenty of parking. This could have seen major acts come to the region and boosted the local economy. I wonder how much money was wasted in the development stages...

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