Council papers recommend scrapping Bristol city centre arena

Council officers suggest an arena should not be built at the city centre site. Credit: Bristol City Council

Bristol's Mayor has called the plan for an arena in the city centre a "completely undeliverable vanity project" as his council officers suggest it should not be built on 'Arena Island'.

Bristol City Council officers are recommending that Arena Island or Temple Island, the land near Temple Meads Train station, should not be used for an arena.

The Cabinet will be asked to approve the recommendation not to progress with proposals for an arena on the city centre site, at a meeting on 4 September.

Instead officers suggest, Temple Island should become home to a conference centre, hotel and new homes.

These plans have been put forward by Legal & General, which has already spent £240m on the surrounding area and has agreed to fund the £300m it expects it will cost to develop Temple Island.

550 homes could be built on Temple Island. Credit: Legal & General

The report also recommends that £53m that was earmarked as public money for the arena should be spent elsewhere in Bristol on housing and transport. But this would need to be approved by the the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

We must make a decision which is evidence-based, set against clear criteria, for inclusive economic growth, jobs and homes, and on the best option which delivers for the future of the city centre. This cannot be a decision that serves political opportunism. These reports are critical to that process and lay out the facts for all to see. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked hard to support an engaging, informed debate and put real options on the table.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Former Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has launched an angry attack on Mr Rees after the announcement.