THE development of a major new indoor arena in Cardiff is set to take another major step forward, with preparation for construction due to get under way.

Cardiff Council cabinet members will meet this week to decide on proposals to sign off an agreement with Live Nation which will allow the construction of the new indoor arena planned for Cardiff Bay to go ahead.

Enabling works for the 15,000 capacity arena are expected to commence in January 2024 and construction could begin in June 2024.

Cardiff Council cabinet member for investment and development, Cllr Russell Goodway, said: “Delivering a new indoor arena has been an ambition for successive council administrations for over 20 years and was a key pledge we made at both the 2017 and 2022 elections.

“The report to cabinet is significant as it clearly shows that the arena is deliverable and affordable, both for Live Nation and the council.

“It is a significant milestone, on the complex journey to commencing building work, and means the project can now proceed at pace.

“The Arena and wider masterplan are a significant investment into the local economy, kick starting the next phase of regeneration of Cardiff Bay, creating jobs and opportunities for local people while acting as a catalyst for further investment into this historic part of the city.

“It also forms the missing part of the jigsaw in Cardiff’s music offering, as identified within our Music Strategy.”

It was reported in March that spiralling inflation caused the cost of the arena to increase by £100 million.

More recently, the council’s planning committee approved some variations to the design of the building which will see it reduced in size compared to what was originally proposed.

Cllr Goodway added: “The current administration has made it clear from the outset that the council is committed to transforming this historic part of Cardiff into a leading UK destination for leisure, culture, and tourism, attracting more people to visit the city that we hope will stay for a longer period of time.

“The project did need to adjust following significant changes in the economic market conditions following the pandemic and I am delighted this has now been resolved and the final legal agreement is set to be signed, so the build can begin next year.”

The agreement that cabinet members will be recommended to approve the signing of on Thursday, November 23, called the development and funding agreement, will commit to the future long-term lease of the venue.

Cardiff Council said that Live Nation has agreed to cover the increased costs of construction.

If cabinet members approve the signing of the development and funding agreement with Live Nation and if all goes according to plan, the arena could be open to the public in late 2026.

Signing of the lease agreement between the council and Live Nation is expected to take place in May or June 2024.

The council’s economy and culture scrutiny committee will be considering the report to Cabinet at its meeting on November 21, 2023.