Arena: Private profit from public cash

Fat cat

Today’s Arena press conference saw the SWRDA and the city council responding with large cash handouts courtesy of the tax payer as the private developers involved in the Bristol Arena “partnership” predictably start to turn the screw on them.

The SWRDA announced a further cash injection of over £14m into the project bringing the total handed over by the tax payer in cash and land to £45m.

Considering the the total cost of the project is £100m – £150m this means the tax payer will foot somewhere between one half and one third of the bill for building the Arena and net none of the profit! That will all go to the Philadelphia-based multinational SMG. What a great deal this is on our behalf.

Now that SMG have extracted as much cash as possible from the tax payer, expect them to concentrate on extracting major planning concessions with similar blackmailing techniques.

With just a nine acre site at their disposal along with some land handed over by the city council as far as the Three Lamps they’re gonna want to be cramming those buildings in. No doubt they will also be eyeing any other spare land in the vicinity…

Meanwhile, major questions around road capacity and site suitability remain unanswered by the SWRDA and the city council

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