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News Release

Bristol

New sports arena is vital for Bristol


Leading property consultants, Jones Lang LaSalle has warned that Bristol’s future success will be held back unless new sporting facilities such as the UWE stadium are delivered soon.

Jeremy Richards
, lead director of Jones Lang LaSalle in the South says that research throughout the UK shows that Bristol has the worst sporting facilities of any major British city. 

Other UK cities have shown that sports and social facilities are vital to the wellbeing and growth of an area and produce a major boost, as evidenced by the Olympic facilities and new sporting facilities elsewhere, such as the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Cardiff City Stadium and Exeter Chiefs Stadium.

“Bristol is desperately in need of new sporting facilities but attempts to deliver these are being constantly thwarted.  Our sports clubs are experiencing uphill battles in their desperate quest to deliver new facilities –witnessed in the recent past with Bristol City and Gloucestershire Cricket and now, Bristol Rovers appear to be experiencing yet another barrier.

“At times one feels that constant barriers are being erected despite planning applications and proposals going through due processes, such is the case with Ashton Gate.

“Our experience shows that there is a crying need for new and improved facilities in the greater Bristol area and this is not just in the sporting sense.  It is also the need for an arena.  Bristol is the only major city in the UK without an arena.  Leeds has just delivered one even through the face of the worst recession in the last 50 years.  Interestingly, this was delivered because the people in Leeds demanded it as their highest priority.

“Clearly there will be influences and effects.  It is a matter of balance.”

Mr Richards also commented that the concept of ‘enabling development’ or the funding of new facilities by developments such as the Sainsburys supermarket is vital.

"In the world we live in, it is unusual for a sports facility to be self-funding -  they have to be cross subsidised.  This has been the case with two of our closest cities, Cardiff and Swansea.  Both of these have had new stadia delivered and paid for by retail development.

And I do not think it is a simple coincidence that both cities now have risen through the leagues so that Premier League football is now being played in these cities.”​