ARENA’S LOOMING BLACK HOLE DEBT SHOCKER!

Bristol Arena - white elephant - Dru Marland

Bristol City Council have finally admitted that their £90M ARENA is now actually going to cost at least £118m and even this huge price increase resembles the tip of an iceberg.

The 30 per cent INCREASE IN COSTS is to cover work and access arrangements to the so-called ‘Arena Island’ site at Temple Meads. However, the price is likely to rise even further as the council has UNDERESTIMATED some costs and IGNORED others altogether.

For example, the latest estimates include just £2.5m for ‘REMEDIATION WORKS‘ to remove chemical pollution from the arena site when the cost of this could be as high as £7.5m. The council also didn’t bother including an £8m BUSINESS RATE BILL that might fall in their lap, while the newly proposed eight storey MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK, demanded by their PROFIT HUNGRY arena operators, is, as yet, uncosted.

Costs could, therefore, easily increase to £135M PLUS. A cool 50 PER CENT increase on the original estimate. But will it stop there? With a builder yet to step foot on the site, more cost increases are a racing certainty.

The Bristolian is happy to go on the record and state that the final bill for the arena is likely to be between £150m and £180m. An overspend of somewhere between 75 AND 100 PER CENT over Mayor Fagpacket’s initial cost claims. How this will be paid for is not explained by the council either. Although it’s likely to be through a generation’s worth of HEAVY DEBT for the city.

With an election looming, the city’s councillors, politicians and mayoral candidates are all oddly quiet on this urgent matter of a looming BLACK HOLE IN the city’s public finances. Perhaps they’ve concluded an arena is popular with the electorate and any negativity about it could cost them votes?

What could possibly go wrong when the provincial political careers of a few sad old men come before the sound financial management of a city?

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