Cardiff Council has appointed a Robertson Construction-led consortium to deliver a new 15,000-capacity indoor arena at Atlantic Wharf
The new indoor arena will create a UK-visitor destination that could attract one million visitors every year and bring more than £100m per annum into the local economy.
The consortium consists of Live Nation, Oak View Group as operators and Robertson.
The report to cabinet seeks approval on the full business case, the development agreement and associated legal documents to deliver the new indoor arena and to formally appoint the consortium as the successful bidder.
Delivering a new indoor arena has been a long-standing ambition and aspiration shared by successive council administrations, which have retained a ring-fenced budget since 2006 to help make a private-sector led proposal, supported by the council, a reality.
The full business case for the project is within an ‘affordability envelope’ for the project that was set out at the beginning of the procurement process.
The pandemic has meant that completing the full business case has taken a few more months longer than originally expected, we anticipate the indoor arena to be open for business by the end of 2024 rather than during the spring of 2024.
A vibrant visitor destination
Cabinet member for investment and development, Russell Goodway, said: “The city’s business community have backed the project for many years, particularly the hospitality sector.
“The new indoor arena will be a top tier UK visitor attraction and the financial benefits that it will bring to Butetown and the wider area will be significant – with up to 2,000 jobs created d uring the construction phase and a further 1,000 jobs in operation when the Atlantic Wharf masterplan becomes a reality.
“Through the Atlantic Wharf masterplan, significant improvements will be made to the public realm and to transport links, and there is no doubt that the regeneration of this site will kick-start the next phase of regeneration in Cardiff Bay.
“As we always do, we are working hand in hand with private sector to get this done. The Council’s aim has always been to deliver a tier-one arena on a commercial basis.
“The council has agreed to raise the funding, which will be recouped through a long term lease with the operators, guaranteed by their parent companies.”
Nick Harris, group executive property director, Robertson, added: “We welcome the report which confirms our status, alongside our partners, to deliver phase one of the Atlantic Wharf, Butetown Masterplan.
“This is a significant step towards delivering the aspirations of the council to create a vibrant visitor destination within Cardiff Bay.
“We were greatly encouraged by the positive feedback received during our public consultations recently, and look forward to working together, with our partners and the council, to prepare the full planning application which will be submitted in October.”