The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has promised that the English city will build a multi-purpose arena after a pre-construction agreement was signed with a new contractor.

The much-delayed project has suffered a number of setbacks over the years, but progress has been made after councillors yesterday (Tuesday) approved an agreement with the Buckingham Group, which originally bid for the arena, but lost out to Bouygues UK.

As the Bristol Post newspaper reports, Bristol City Council severed its ties with Bouygues UK over a funding dispute. Recent reports have suggested that the project was in danger of being axed, but yesterday’s agreement represents a step forward.

A study will now be carried out to determine the financial implications of building the 12,000-seat arena.

“We are going to build an arena, but as everyone would expect it has to be good value for money,” Rees said, according to the Post. “Public money going into this must be maximised to make the most economic impact and benefit for the people of Bristol. We do want to get this right. We are the only major city without an arena, which isn’t ideal. But we face a number of challenges and we’re got to make sure the numbers stack up.

“We’re (having) to make very difficult decisions about competing priorities. I’ve been asked what’s it like to be a politician in Bristol – it’s like having £10 and everyone wanting £6.

“We have to think about how we invest in this city’s future but there are also some very immediate demands – money for children and young people or adult social care. The commitment is absolutely there – the arena is a bright part of this city’s future.”