The Bristol Arena is one step closer after the council held a bidders’ day for contractors interested in building the venue.

Five shortlisted contractors were invited to attend a site visit on Monday (2 November) and find out more about Bristol City Council’s tender process.

The companies that attended the day included: BAM Construction Ltd, Bouygues UK, Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O’Rourke and Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd.

Bids will be submitted by 18 December with a decision about the winning contractor expected in February 2016.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said:

“This is the next key milestone in the arena programme and takes us one step closer to delivery.

“Bristol has waited over 20 years for an arena which will at long last play a key part in the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will make a vitally important contribution to the local economy. For the winning contractor it will be great opportunity to work with us to help shape the face of our increasingly vibrant city.”

The bidders’ day was designed to provide information on the tender process to contractors, and allow companies interested in the contract to ask any questions they may have to help them put their tenders together. As well as visiting the site, potential contractors were given an update on project progress and details about the Invitation to Tender procurement process.

The Bristol Arena will be a world class entertainment venue, with a capacity of 12,000 people. International arena design team Populous together with Bath-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley and engineering firm BuroHappold have developed plans for the innovative and flexible arena.

The pre-planning public consultation process has recently closed and two planning applications are due to be submitted shortly. One detailed application is for the arena venue and access, and the other is an outline application for the future development of housing, business and leisure uses adjacent to the venue. Statutory consultation will take place once the planning documents have been submitted. The plans are designed to make Arena Island a vibrant place and busy throughout the week, transforming a derelict part of the city.