Bristol

Bristol Arena: £91m council budget provision approved

  • 17 January 2014
  • From the section Bristol
Artist's impression of the Bristol Arena Image copyright City Design Group
Image caption The 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena could be completed by June 2017

A three-year financial plan for Bristol City Council to fund the building of a £91m indoor entertainment arena has been approved by the mayor.

George Ferguson also backed starting the process of selecting an arena operator and negotiating the terms of the lease with them.

The approved recommendations will now go before full council on 18 February.

Plans for the 12,000-seat arena would see it built adjacent to Temple Meads station and be completed by June 2017.

'Top priority'

If approved by full council, its overall budget for the next three years will have to make room for construction costs of £1m in year one, £25m following that and finally £65m in 2016/17.

However, Mr Ferguson predicts the net costs to the council would ultimately be in the "very low millions".

The cabinet report suggests £38m of the total would be met by rent and "fit out" costs from the operator, as well as car parking income from visitors.

The council would seek the remaining £53m from the City Deal.

Mr Ferguson told the cabinet meeting the arena was one of his "top priorities", which he had stated very clearly both before his election in November 2012 and ever since.

Next month, the full council will be discussing his proposals to slash £83m from the city council's budget over the next three years, resulting in the possible loss of up to 800 jobs and cuts to library and children's centres funding.

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