FOI response relating to the proposed conference centre at Arena Island

Details of another belated response to a Freedom of Information request, relating to the proposal for a conference centre on Arena Island at Temple Meads, have now been published at 


Please confirm the date on which an approach was made to NEC in relation to the potential development or operation of a conference centre on Temple Island.

On 6th July 2018 Richard Marsh, Programme Director – Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, met with representatives from the NEC to advise on their operational models only.

Please confirm on what basis NEC was identified as a potential operator for the conference centre.

NEC have not been identified as  a potential operator for a conference centre. The scheme content for a proposed development at Temple Island is not yet agreed.

Please confirm whether Bristol City Council considered approaching any other conference centre operators in addition to NEC, and if so, which operators. Please also confirm whether these alternative operators were approached, and if so, the outcome of those approaches in each case.

NEC have not been approached on the basis of potential scheme operators. They were approached for advice on the strength of their other projects, most notably Birmingham.

Please confirm which Officers, Councillors or other staff or consultants to Bristol City Council were involved in discussions with NEC in relation to the proposed development or operation of a conference centre on Temple Island.

Richard Marsh met representatives of NEC on the 6th July 2018 to NEC to be advised on the NEC’s operational model.

Please confirm whether any meetings were held between NEC and any Officers, Councillors, the Mayor, other staff or consultants of Bristol City Council in the last 18 months. If so, please confirm: 

1. Who they met, when, and where; 
2. Whether any costs associated with those meetings were paid for by NEC or the Council or any other third party, and the amount of each cost or expense; 
3. Whether any third parties attended those meetings (including for example, representatives of Legal and General and/or YTL and/or the University of Bristol). 

On the 6th July Richard Marsh met with the NEC’s  Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director for Arenas and The Ticket Factory and Director, NEC Group Venue Partnerships at the Gainsbrough Hotel in Bath. Representatives of YTL were also present at the meeting. No costs were incurred on behalf of BCC and no hospitality was received from the NEC or YTL.

Please confirm whether the Council identified at any point prior to or following discussions with NEC in relation to the conference centre proposals that NEC had unsuccessfully tendered for operation of the proposed Arena at Temple Island.

There was no discussion within the Council on this point.