Following the announcement that the government has not awarded the West of England LEP £75m from the latest Regional Growth Fund allocation in response to its bid for funds for the proposed Arena and also full refurbishment of Colston Hall, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said:

“While this is extremely disappointing news, we are not flinching in our commitment to the arena as an essential element of the future economic success and cultural life of our city. We must also ensure the Colston Hall’s future. Our Regional Growth Fund bid was ambitious, asking for £75m for Bristol alone out of the £350m available in this round for the whole country. Bids were oversubscribed by a factor of nearly 6 to 1.”

“To take forward our arena we have been exploring a range of funding alternatives, of which the Regional Growth Fund is just one. We’ll bring back details of our funding options as our plans develop. I shall continue to press government ministers to deliver on their promises and support Bristol in further applications for funding.”