Plans approved for ‘world-class’ Cardiff arena

Work on a new 17,000-capacity arena in Cardiff will commence later this year after Cardiff Council’s planning committee approved the project.

The arena will form part of the first phase of a multi-million-pound regeneration of Cardiff’s Atlantic Wharf area. The phase will also include a new hotel and associated landscaping.

The consortium behind the arena project includes Robertson Group as developers and Live Nation and Oak View Group as joint operators. The arena is set to create 1,000 jobs when complete, with construction expected to start later this year.

The consortium has claimed that Cardiff currently lacks a modern indoor arena capable of hosting major events. Live Nation currently operates the 7,500-capacity Motorpoint Arena in the centre of Cardiff, which is ultimately expected to be replaced by the new venue.

Plans for the new arena were submitted in November and it is hoped the venue could open in 2025. According to details released last year, the planned new venue will cost around £150m (€179m/$197m) to build and is projected to attract more than one million visitors and inject an estimated £100m into the local economy every year.

Elliot Robertson, chief executive at Robertson, said: “The planning department’s decision to grant planning permission for phase one of the development underpins the council’s commitment to regenerating Atlantic Wharf into a vibrant visitor destination within Cardiff Bay.

“We look forward to working with our partners to create a new destination that will not only breathe new life into the Bay area but will support local businesses and create new employment opportunities throughout the city.”

Graham Walters, chief operating officer at Live Nation UK Venues, added: “We are delighted with this decision, one of the most significant and landmark developments in the region for some years, and we look forward to delivering our vision for a new arena with our partners and Cardiff Council.

“A world-class arena, with a global reputation for culture, will transform Atlantic Wharf for local, national, and international visitors to Cardiff, as well as facilitate job creation and economic growth in the region.”

Both the arena and the wider masterplan are in line with Cardiff Council’s 2030 climate-neutral aspirations, with energy strategies incorporated into the design and operational elements of the redevelopment set to achieve operational climate-neutral positions by 2030.

Image: Cardiff Council