PROGRESS on a new indoor arena in Cardiff is set to take a major step forward.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet will be recommended to approve a range of legal agreements at a meeting on July 13, which will allow the 15,000 capacity arena and regeneration of Atlantic Wharf to progress further.

The council said that construction work on the arena is expected to start by the end of this year.

A report, which will be discussed by cabinet members next week, will also recommend that the project to redevelop Atlantic Wharf is split into two areas, with the intention of putting both out to tender.

Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for investment and development, councillor Russell Goodway, said: “The council is committed to transforming this historic part of Cardiff into a leading UK destination for leisure, culture and tourism, creating jobs and opportunities for local people.

“The indoor arena will significantly increase footfall in Cardiff Bay, which will benefit all existing hospitality venues as well as the new developments that will be built as part of this regeneration scheme.

“There is no doubt that since the pandemic has ended, the financial climate has changed and become more challenging with an increase in cost of building materials and increasing interest rates.

“Given this, the project has had to adapt to ensure that it can be delivered and is affordable, so legal agreements now have to be approved so the project can proceed at pace, with work expected to start on site at the end of this year.”

The proposal for Site A, which includes County Hall and the areas of the car park which are not taken up by the arena’s footprint, is to put the land out to tender to deliver a specific development which could include a new production and rehearsal space, alongside new offices, all with a shared foyer.

Cardiff Council is proposing that site B, which includes the Red Dragon Centre, the car park and Hemmingway Road, undergoes further market testing, to attract further investment interest from the private sector.

The results of both the tender exercise and the market testing exercise will be reported back to Cardiff Council’s cabinet at a later date, for a decision to proceed. 

Cardiff Council’s Cabinet are recommended to approve the following:

Finalise and agree the Development Fund Agreement (DFA) between the Council and Live Nation

Agree the extension of the Pre-Contract Service Agreement (PCSA) between the Council and Live Nation

Seek approval to produce a final business case for the Capella Production Studio, in partnership with the Welsh Millennium Centre

Agree for the tender process to proceed for Site A and for the market testing exercise for Site B

The proposals will be scrutinised by the Council’s Economy & Culture Scrutiny Committee on July 11.