Arenas in the UK

23 01 2013

As an architect by trade, Bristol mayor George Ferguson is in a unique position to ensure the best arena for the city. The proposed £80m arena will be built on empty land next to Temple Meads, and Ferguson is calling on his friends at the Royal Institute of British Architects to help run the design competition.

Bristol could have its long overdue arena by 2016, with the venue seating up to 12,000 people and expected to be a sustainable building.

If you’re thinking of entering the contest, here are some arenas across the UK from Exeter to Glasgow for inspiration:

Belfast ArenaBelfast Odyssey Arena

Birmingham LG ArenaBirmingham LG Arena

Bolton ArenaBolton Ricoh Arena

Cardiff ArenaCardiff Motorpoint Arena

Coventry Ricoh ArenaCoventry Ricoh Arena

Exeter Westpoint ArenaExeter Westpoint Arena

Glasgow Braehead ArenaGlasgow Braehead Arena

Hull ArenaHull Arena

Liverpool Echo ArenaLiverpool Echo Arena

Manchester MEN ArenaManchester MEN Arena

Newcastle ArenaNewcastle Metro Radio Arena

Nottingham ArenaNottingham Capital FM Arena

Sheffield ArenaSheffield Motorpoint Arena

Can Ferguson bring an arena to Bristol?

19 11 2012

George Ferguson is being officially sworn in as Bristol’s mayor today in Brunel’s Old Station next to Temple Meads. As an oath, he has chosen the words that the ancient Athenians said: “I shall not leave this city any less but rather greater than when I found it.”

Just a few hundred yards away from where he will say this oath is an area of Bristol which Ferguson hopes he will be able to transform in his time as mayor.

His architecture firm have previously drawn up plans (right) for the derelict Royal Mail sorting office, comprising a mixed use development (right) of office, retail, residential, leisure and student accommodation in what is currently a ghastly welcome to visitors to Bristol by train.

Empty for the past 15 years, the building is currently owned by developers Kian Gwan Land, who have a PO Box address in Jersey.

Another site near to the station is the land off Bath Road long earmarked for an arena and which the now defunct South West Regional Development Agency spent £13m purchasing and clearing in preparation for one, which currently houses a few polytunnels.

Speaking after his election last week, Ferguson said: “We need to deliver a really significant project we can all be proud of and I am absolutely determined to deliver an arena for Bristol. It’s disgraceful that we have to go elsewhere to see the big acts. But it will be more than a building, it will be about what Bristol stands for. So let’s make a Bristol which everyone feels part of.”

If our new mayor brings an arena to Bristol, it could be his greatest legacy.

Bristol Arena could open by 2016

3 10 2012

Bristol could get its long-awaited arena by 2016, it was announced today. A future 12,000-seat Bristol Arena would cost between £60-80 million and be built on the former diesel depot site off Bath Road behind Temple Meads. A draft study concludes that “there is stakeholder support, market demand and operator interest for an arena in Bristol”.

The target start date for construction of the arena is autumn 2014, with work estimated to take around 18 months, meaning that Lady Gaga and other acts who at the moment completely bypass Bristol, could be performing in the city by the middle of 2016.

“I am absolutely confident we will have an arena,” said Colin Skellet, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership behind the scheme.

The “spatial framework” (not artist’s impression) below gives some idea of how the Enterprise Zone within which the arena will be built could take shape in the years to come: