Bristol: Plans for huge moving viewing platform 'The Arc' are approved

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report

Plans to build a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction in Bristol city centre have been approved with widespread support from businesses and tourism leaders.

The Arc is a glass cabin on a moving platform which would be lifted 69m into the sky, carrying passengers above Bristol's Millennium Square.

It was anticipated the proposals would be rejected, following objections from Historic England who said the attraction would distract from the cathedral in the city's skyline.

But it had the support of a number of local businesses and the Dean of Bristol Cathedral.

In a statement, Historic England said: "While its design is slender and minimal, we have concerns about its construction especially when it's in its upright position.

"Historic England is advising Bristol City Council to reconsider alternative sites such as Museum Square, where the Arc would be more suitably placed."

Designs for the attraction show a single glass pod, similar to those seen on the London Eye, that would be raised 225 feet into the air from We The Curious.

It is designed to take 42 passengers on a 20-minute ride above the city.

Following the project receiving approval, an Arc spokesperson said: “We are absolutely delighted that after four years of negotiations with Bristol City Council, common sense has prevailed and committee members unanimously voted in support of Arc and to overturn officer’s recommendation to refuse.

“From the outset we have been met with huge enthusiasm for Arc. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over this slow and at times surreal journey, but finally we can now bring Arc to Bristol, so our passengers can fly above this wonderful city.

“We strongly feel this is a really positive message that this wonderful, creative city with its rich history and heritage buildings, is also bold and ambitious and understands how the new and old can coexist beautifully.”

An economic report from We The Curious suggested the attraction could bring £13million to Bristol's economy every year.

Its CEO Donna Speed told ITV News West Country: "It's been such a difficult year. We have been closed for 13 months and during that time we've lost £3.4million in revenue - as an educational charity that is pretty devastating.

"But we want to more than just survive - we want to flourish and thrive and this feels like a great opportunity not just for us, but for Bristol."

Plans for a similar project in Bath were unveiled in 2015 but the attraction never got off the ground.

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