Plans for a new 15,000-capacity arena in Cardiff have taken a major step forward.
Cardiff Council has been given the green light to purchase the Red Dragon leisure complex in Cardiff Bay, which will provide the authority with all of the land it needs to build the proposed venue.
Heads of terms have been agreed with the current owners and the deal is set to be complete in January 2020, and the new arena could be opened by summer 2023. Cardiff is currently home to the 8,000-capacity Motorpoint Arena (pictured), which celebrated 25 years in operation last year.
Cllr Russell Goodway, cabinet member for investment and development at Cardiff Council, said: "Putting together this land deal will enable us to offer absolute certainty to the developers who want to build and operate the new arena that the proposed site is in place and ready to go.
"The tender process to find the best consortium to build and operate the new indoor arena is well underway and at the beginning of December the council received the ‘outline solutions' from the remaining two bidders in the process.
"The next stage will see the bidders submitting their ‘detailed solutions', which does come at a significant design and feasibility cost to both applicants. It is therefore essential that the Council is able to provide the two remaining bidders with certainty that the site for the new arena is secured."
The council aims to have completed the procurement process to appoint a development partner and operator for the new arena by April 2020 with a view for a detailed planning application to be submitted by the developer before September 2020.
If all goes to plan, work could start on site by May 2021, with the arena built and operating by the summer of 2023.