The long-awaited Bristol Arena and surrounding Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone aims to regenerate a rather neglected area of the city into a thriving new leisure and business destination, stimulating growth and creating new jobs.
The new world-class entertainment venue with 12,000 capacity will be located on Arena Island, the Former Diesel Depot Site near Bristol Temple Meads railway station. It is estimated to host over 100 events a year, including a mix of music, comedy, family entertainment shows, sports events and exhibitions.
Residents living in the city and surrounding areas will no longer have to travel to other cities to see touring arena shows, as it will be in easy reach right on their doorstep and due for completion in 2018.
The arena is being delivered by Bristol City Council and global entertainment and sports design firm Populous; architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; BuroHappold Engineering and sound specialists Vanguardia.
The preferred contractor has been named as Bouygues UK, one of the country's top construction and development companies which has an office in Bristol and a strong presence in the region.
It is part of the global Bouygues group that has experience delivering flagship venues around the world, including the Singapore Sports Hub, the Stade Vélodrome football stadium in Marseille and the Maracanã Stadium in Rio.
The council will now work with Bouygues UK to agree a final package of works and target cost for the arena prior to awarding a building contract, following Cabinet approval, in the summer.
Paul Matthews, property consultant and head of Bruton Knowles Bristol has said that "A number of businesses were already taking advantage of flexible accommodation, short leases and on-site parking which is very much at a premium in the city centre".
Mr Matthews believes the eastern edge of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone which boasts a number of Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings will be particularly highly prized among the business and commercial sectors.
He said: "There are extensive areas of derelict land and abandoned industrial buildings within this area which could, in the short term, be pressed in to service as overflow parking for the Arena.
"During the period before we see these sites redeveloped entrepreneurial landlords could well look to make use of their land for surface car parking which is in short supply for occupiers in the city centre.
"We regularly receive enquiries from car park operators seeking such sites.
"Although the Arena is designed to be served by pedestrian and public transport links, the majority of Bristolians accept that thousands of people will be heading to the area by car."
Foot traffic access will be across the River Avon by the existing Cattle Market Road bridge and by a new crossing leading to the Totterdown basin.
Mr Matthews said: "The immediate areas around these crossing points are likely to become prime pieces of real estate in the future as longer term developments such as cafes, hotels, creative workspace and waterside apartments are added to the Temple Quarter blueprint."