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  1. ITV Report

Where should the Arena be built?

Clockwise from top left: Brabazon hangar, Filton, illustration of proposed Filton arena, Temple Island, illustration of proposed Bristol arena there. Credit: Google Earth/YTL/Bristol City Cou

A report commissioned by Bristol City Council on the city's long-awaited arena has suggested building the venue at the Brabazon hangar in Filton rather than on Temple Island by the city's Temple Meads station.

£9m has already been spent preparing the Island for the Arena but the development has been put on hold for the investigation.

The new report puts the cost of the current proposed site next to Bristol Temple Meads at £156 million - that's £33 million more than the current approved budget and almost double the original projection.

Instead the accountants KPMG say an alternative site at Filton could be much cheaper to build - especially as the company YTL is offering to build the venue itself for free. Temple Island could then be used for homes, offices and shops instead.

  • But what do people, politicians and journalists think?

However you cut it up, the KPMG reports are very bad news for South Bristol. The top line is no arena and no investment - in fact, the only guarantee that residents have is years of uncertainty around the Temple Meads site.

Bristol South needs investment, jobs, improved infrastructure - and a signal from those running the city that they are not forgotten. Instead, we are looking at a process which has not only failed to deliver in every regard, but actually cost millions of tax payers’ money to achieve precisely nothing. My constituents deserve better than this.

– Karin Smith MP, Lab, Bristol South
The two locations - in Filton and Bristol City Centre - under discussion. Credit: Google Earth

The problem with these reports is that we are being asked to compare reality with fiction.

On the one hand we have an actual arena on which millions of pounds of actual money has been spent and actual building work had already begun which would bring huge economic benefits to the disadvantaged areas of Central and South Bristol in terms of new jobs and opportunities.

On the other we have a highly optimistic pencil sketch, in which the private sector steps forward and provides exactly what the Mayor wants on the Arena Island site, at little or no cost to the public purse, while a foreign corporation builds and owns an arena to the north of Bristol.

– Councillor Eleanor Combley, Bristol’s Green party Group Leader
Illustration of what the YTL arena could look like at the Brabazon hangars at Filton. Credit: YTL

I don't mind where the Arena goes as long as it gets built and it's good value for council taxpayers. But my number one requirement is that if it comes to Bristol it has transport upgrades with it.

I cannot support the Arena in North Bristol unless we see bus and rail upgrades and we have some solid commitments on our road network which across North Bristol is already gridlocked at travel to work time as it is, let alone with a 15,000 seater Arena with Ed Sheeran or whoever it is on a Friday or Saturday night.

– Darren Jones MP, Lab, Bristol North West

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  • Have your say about the Bristol Arena

Check out KPMG's Value for Money reports here and then submit your question or statement directly relating to those reports by email to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk

Bristol City Council will be meeting to discuss the Arena on 18 June before the decision is made on 3 July.