Bristol's long-awaited indoor arena has tonight been given the green light by councillors.
George Ferguson's £83m of budget cuts were approved after Labour backed him with amendments of more than a million pounds.
The £91m arena will be built on land close to Temple Meads, with the council having to find only £15m of that total. Work on a new bridge to the site will now begin in the next couple of weeks.
Also at tonight's budget meeting, councillors agreed a council tax increase of 2%.
A £91million arena for Bristol could be given the go-ahead later. Funding for the 12,000 seater venue on the former diesel depot by Temple Meads station is being discussed at a council budget meeting this afternoon.
Reports suggest that it could bring tens of millions of pounds of economic benefit to the area each year. It's due to open in summer 2017.
18 Royal Marines from 40 Commando are heading to Stanmore Bank on the Somerset Levels where they will be working to reinforce the existing structure with sandbags and protect it from overtopping.
It will take approximately 2 or 3 hours for them to reinforce up to a 2 kilometre stretch of wall.
They also have 2 large vehicles with them.
The Local Enterprise Partnership agreed to support Bristol’s Arena from its City Deal Economic Development Fund at a meeting of its Board today. A report presented to the Board suggests that the Bristol Arena could bring tens of millions of pounds to the Bristol econoy each year.
George Ferguson Mayor of Bristol said: “It's very encouraging that the Local Enterprise Partnership recognises the importance of using the City Deal funding for the development of an arena which will give a massive boost to the local economy.
The arena is estimated to cost £91 million to build. £53 million will come from the Local Enterprise Partnership and the remaining £38 million is expected to come back to the council from operator rental and other related income.
The full funding package was approved by Cabinet on 16th January and will go to Full Council on 18 February as part of the council’s budget proposals. If approved at Full Council then work will begin in the Spring to appoint an operator.
A funding package for the Bristol Arena has been approved by Mayor George Ferguson at a Council Cabinet meeting tonight (Thursday 16 January). The arena project would cost £91 million overall, and as part of the package, the Council hopes central government will contribute £53 million.
The package will also need approval at a full council meeting next month, before it is given the final go-ahead. Tonight's decision means Bristol is a step closer to getting its own indoor arena - possibly as early as 2017.
Bristol's long-awaited and much talked about indoor arena is expected to move a step closer to reality tonight, as plans go before the city council for approval.
But question marks remain over how the £91m venue will be paid for. One property expert has told ITV News the benefits from of an arena would far outweigh the costs.
Our Bristol Correspondent Richard Payne reports:
Plans for the Bristol Arena are expected to be approved at a city budget meeting tonight.
The £90 million venue next to Temple Meads would have a capacity of 12,000.
Work could start in January 2016 if the scheme gets the go-ahead.
The City Council has raised £53 million for the project and is planning to borrow the rest. The meeting will also debate cuts and a 2 percent rise in council tax.
Bristol's bid for a new arena has moved a major step closer. The project has been granted £250,000 so that a business case can be prepared enabling companies to tender for the £80 million project.
If all goes according to plan, it could be completed in three years.
Watch Tamsin Eames' report.
Plans for an Arena in Bristol are back on the agenda.
Mayor Ferguson has agreed to release £250,000 of council money to look into the possibility of building it within the Enterprise Zone near to Temple Meads Railway Station.