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  1. ITV Report

Long-awaited Bristol Arena construction paused after calls for 'major review'

Marvin Rees says he remains committed to the 12,000-seater stadium. Credit: Bristol City Council

Building work on Bristol's much-anticipated arena has been halted after the city's Mayor called for a major review into the project.

Marvin Rees says he remains committed to the 12,000-seater stadium but has admitted costs will rise significantly above the initial £120million budget.

Building work on the arena has been halted. Credit: ITV West Country

Bristol City Council says it is now reviewing the design of, and the possibility of private investment in, the arena.

The decision means no work will continue on the site until at least January, where a cabinet meeting will review the new proposals.

The news comes after a company, appointed to undertake works before construction, presented a target cost.

Mr Rees says it is important to scrutinise the project's cost.

We can’t commit to the current design on this specific site at any cost and I wouldn’t want that kind of blinkered approach to become the arena’s undoing.

– Marvin Rees
Artist's impressions show the impressive current design for the arena. Credit: Bristol City Council

It is thought the cost for the arena will be more than the already budgeted £123.5m.

Mr Rees says the Council is following the "same decision-making timeline" previously announced and promises the arena will still "become reality".

I remain 100% committed to delivering an arena for Bristol and with this in mind it is right to look at every available option, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each.

– Marvin Rees
£123.5m
Current project budget for the arena

Former mayor of Bristol George Ferguson says the decision to halt the project is "madness".

This will only result in a combination of dumbing down and rising costs exacerbated by Brexit and consequent inflationary pressures.

It’s a great project and will more than pay for itself - just get on with it or Bristol will be badly left behind.

– George Ferguson

Despite the increase, Bristol Arena is still due to open in 2020.