Approval is being sought from Bristol City Council’s Cabinet for £28 million for infrastructure works on Arena Island and the surrounding area, including £1m earmarked to demolish the derelict former sorting office close to Temple Meads station.

The Cabinet report, to be considered on 1 March, outlines a full package of works for Arena Island including a new public plaza linking the new 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena with the proposed Arena Island development, improvements to the cycle and walkway from the Arena Island site to the Three Lamps Junction on the Bath Road and site infrastructure works. It also seeks funding provision for a car park for arena operator and public use that could replace the temporary car parking space allocated on Arena Island.

The proposed works will provide quality public spaces and access routes through the Arena Island site, opening up the rest of the site for development and creating linkages to the former sorting office site. The proposals for the Bath Road walkway and cycleway and improvements to the public plaza were developed following the pre-planning public consultation for the arena.

Assistant Mayor for Place, Simon Cook, said:

‘I look forward to considering this proposal for infrastructure works on Arena Island. The plans for the arena building are progressing well and now that the whole of Arena Island is in council ownership we need to make decisions on how to fund the infrastructure required to bring forward development of the rest of the site and connect it with the arena.’

Bristol City Council would prudentially borrow the funding to allow these works to take place at the same time as the arena building works. The cost of the works however would ultimately be repaid from the future development value of Arena Island and the former sorting office site on Cattle Market Road together with a £8m contribution from the Strategic Community Infrastucture Levy. The works will therefore eventually be cost-neutral to the council.

The council purchased Arena Island, 1-9 Bath Road and the former sorting office in Cattle Market Road in 2015 as part of a 25 year plan to regenerate the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone into a vibrant new quarter of the city.

The Cabinet report also updates Cabinet on the Arena Operator contract and the recent selection of Bouygues, one of the country’s top construction and development companies, as Preferred Tenderer to build the Bristol Arena.

Plans for the Bristol Arena and Arena Island are due for consideration by Planning Committee on 2 March. The plans are designed to make Arena Island busy throughout the week, transforming a derelict part of the city close to Temple Meads station.