Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has confirmed that Temple Island is not going to be used as the site of a new city centre arena, despite months of speculation, years of waiting and millions of pounds being spent clearing and preparing the land for the arena. The confirmation comes after a council meeting earlier this week. Instead of going ahead with the arena on the Temple Island site, the council will push forward with plans for a mixed-use development on the site which may also include a conference centre, housing, offices and shops, with Filton Airfield being left the most likely site for the arena.
During the meeting, Mayor Marvin Rees confirmed he is still committed to his manifesto promise of delivering an arena for Bristol. Speaking to councillors at the meeting, he said: “The value for money report clearly told me that an alternative use was far better. The arena brought fewer jobs and most jobs in arenas around the country are temporary and pay minimum wage. A mixed-use site, including a conference centre, would blow away the arena for jobs and create a stronger tax base and economic output for the city. Jobs and affordable homes are the key values for the delivery of my administration. I will prioritise them.
“Looking at the facts, the greater impact on jobs and the city economy – more than three times as many in a mixed-use development and £500 million more economic output, it is obvious where the facts lead us. The only questions that matter are the best use of council taxpayers money and the best use of Temple Island land, jobs and the long-term stability of the city’s economy and the council’s finances.”
There was much support from the public gallery as news of the change of plans for the city centre arena were made official. Now that Temple Island has been ruled out, it is likely that the council will press on with talks for an arena on Filton Airfield.