Winner picked in five-way contest to build the Populous-designed Bristol Arena

Bristol Arena

Bouygues has pipped four rival contractors in the race to build the £90m Populous-designed Bristol Arena, Building can reveal.

The French contractor has been named preferred bidder, beating shortlisted firms Bam, Sir Robert McApline, Laing O’Rourke and Buckingham Group to the job.

Populous and partner Feilden Clegg Bradley won the RIBA competition to design the arena in March, while Aecom has been appointed cost consultant and employer’s agent on the project.

Plans for the 12,000-capacity venue were submitted to Bristol council at the beginning of December. It will include an amphitheatre, performance area and outdoor seating and is scheduled to open in 2018.

The arena will sit in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, which has been masterplanned by Allies & Morrison.

Bristol mayor George Ferguson has said that the contract would be a “great opportunity” for the winning contractor to “help shape the face” of the city.

“Bristol has waited over 20 years for an arena which will at long last play a key part in the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will make a vitally important contribution to the local economy,” he added.

Bouygues is also in contention for UOL Group’s Pan Pacific hotel at 150 Bishopsgate as revealed by Building at the beginning of January, and last year won the third phase at Battersea Power Station.

Populous was behind the Leeds Arena which opened in 2013 and hosted last year’s opening ceremony of the Tour de France which started in the city. The practice beat off competition from architects including Grimshaw and Wilkinson Eyre for the Bristol project.

Bouygues declined to comment.