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Contest opens to build new GBP£90m Bristol Arena

Bristol City Council has begun the search for a contractor to build its planned c.GBP£90m events arena.

The Bristol Arena is a 12,000-capacity performance venue that is due to be located close to Bristol Temple Meads station on Arena Island – the former diesel depot site. The Arena will be a catalyst for development in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will attract millions of pounds of investment to the city region.

Bristol City Council has published a contract notice in the Official Journal of the EU for a contractor to take on construction of the new arena (expected to cost in the region of GBP£65m to GBP£98m) and hopes to have a contractor in place by this July.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), is also investing GBP£11m to build a new bridge across the river from Cattlemarket Road and has commissioned a masterplan for the whole site to show how lively streets, public spaces and large and small buildings could complement an arena.

According to the Brief, which is available on The Construction, Bristol City Council is in the process of appointing a multi-disciplinary design team that will be novated to the Design and Build contractor during RIBA work Stage 3 or 4. The Council wishes to appoint a suitable Design and Build contractor to complete the design and construct the arena and associated works, including hard and soft landscaping, roads and car parking, computers, telecommunication, Wi-Fi, mechanical, electrical installations, including stage and acoustics works and the installation of the Arena operator’s facilities through a two-stage design and build procurement process. During stage 1 of the design and build process (the Pre-Construction Agreement), Bristol City Council reserves the right to select a Reserve Bidder. Further details about the Reserve Bidder position will be included in the Invitation to Tender documents. A bidder’s day, at which more information about the project will be disclosed, is planned for January 28, 2015. Attendance is by invitation only and anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to contact Andrea Vasconcelos by email at the earliest opportunity to book a place:

Latest developments

  • The funding package for the Arena was agreed by Bristol City Council’s Full Council in February 2014
  • A Preferred Bidder, SMG in partnership with Live Nation, has been selected to operate the Arena
  • Five design teams (highlighted below) have been shortlisted to participate in the second stage of the RIBA Design Competition and a team will be selected in March 2015
  • Allies and Morrison Architects have been appointed to shape the creative vision for the Arena Island site where Bristol’s new arena will be located
  • Work is underway on a transport strategy for the Arena

Work will start on site early in 2016 and the Arena is due to open in 2017.

As previously reported, the five shortlisted design teams competing are:

  • Grimshaw, Manica Architecture, Thornton Tomasetti, M-E Engineers and Neil Woodger Acoustics
  • IDOM (in collaboration with Foreman Roberts and Nagata Acoustics)
  • Populous / Feilden Clegg Bradley / Buro Happold / Vanguardia
  • White Arkitekter with Arup
  • Wilkinson Eyre with Arup

For the full bidding details of the main construction contract, see Contract Leads section on The Construction