Live Aid organiser puts forward plan to ‘save’ Bristol city centre arena

Stephen Fear comments on the Bristol Arena, Bristol Live website published his comments on 4th September 2018 in an article written by Esme Ashcroft.

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The organiser of the Live Aid concerts has launched a dramatic bid to keep Bristol Arena in the city centre.

Performing Arts promoter Harvey Goldsmith claims to have found a “global arena operator” which wishes to privately fund a concert venue on Temple Island.

Mr Goldsmith – who organised Live Aid with Bob Geldof and has produced shows with bands including Led Zeppelin, The Who, Oasis, Coldplay and Shirley Bassey – has sent his 11th hour bid via Bristol entrepreneur and businessman Stephen Fear.

Mr Fear is urging Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees to consider this “risk free” offer before taking a final decision on the city centre site.

In a letter sent exclusively to Bristol Live Mr Fear said: “I have no interest in taking sides in the debate between those who support Temple Meads and those who opt for Filton but I believe it essential that this latest proposal is listened to and that Bristol obtains its much delayed arena and at the same time avoids being saddled with long term debt.

“At the moment there are flaws in both sides of the debate.

“If Mr Rees, or the city council, wish to get in touch with me I will arrange an urgent meeting with Mr Goldsmith who is willing to travel to Bristol at short notice.

“Harvey Goldsmith is a serious person with a serious intent, so his intervention at this late stage should be welcomed, if not applauded, by everyone involved.”

Little detail is known about the proposal being put forward by Mr Goldsmith – but Mr Fear claims he and the international promoter are available to meet at the “earliest available date”.

The Bristol Mayor is expected to formally scrap plans for a arena at Temple Island at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, September 4.

Mr Rees is instead set to push forward with a ‘mixed use’ plan for the site which could include a conference centre, office space, housing and shops.

Often referred to as the ‘phonebox millionaire’, Mr Fear started his first business aged 15 selling oven cleaning products from a phone box on a Bristol council estate.

What Bristol City Council has said

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “We have no knowledge of this alleged offer and do not appear to have been contacted by any of the people mentioned. If they have a serious proposal we would expect to receive it directly through normal channels.”

Bristol Live will be speaking to Mr Fear today for further information.

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