News / Tourism

Proposals for new £13.5m attraction, offering a unique bird’s eye view of Bristol

By ellie pipe, Friday Oct 4, 2019

Plans to install a rotating glass passenger cabin 69 metres above Bristol’s harbourside have been unveiled.

The city would become the first in the world to host Arc, a £13.5m tourist attraction that will use cutting-edge technology to elevate up to 42 people at a time into the sky, offering 360˚ views, in a project expected to attract some 250,000 visitors a year.

The private firm behind the proposed new attraction says Bristol’s creativity, history, heritage and innovative spirit make it the perfect flagship location for the concept.

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It is anticipated Arc will generate an estimated £8.3m towards Bristol’s tourism market every year, £5m of which will be new revenue. Project leaders say it will support 118 high-quality jobs, especially pilots and engineers, marketing, curation and creative roles.

The brainchild of architect Nick Stubbs, Arc has been designed by some of the country’s leading engineers. The glass cabin would be suspended between two super-strong carbon fibre masts, pivoting on a 3.2-metre diameter base in Millennium Square, and each ride would last 20 minutes.

The proposals come at a time when the council has announced a major review into the city’s historic Floating Harbour in a bid to make the loss-making waterway more lucrative and fitting of a world-class destination.

A consultation on the ambitious project will be held at We The Curious on Wednesday, October 16. Some of the city’s tourism leaders have already offered their support.

The vision is to enable people to enjoy views across the city without permanently altering the skyline

“Arc shows how when existing technology is reimagined and combined with ground-breaking engineering the results can be dramatic and inspiring,” said We The Curious’ chief executive Donna Speed.

“We were blown away by the designs and the potential to view our city in a new and truly unique way. We are delighted to host the consultation events in October to explore the possibilities for Bristol.”

Stubbs had the vision of creating a design that enables people to be able to see beautiful places from above, but without constructing an obstacle that would sit permanently in the skyline.

Adding his support, John Hirst, chief executive of Destination Bristol, said: “Bristolians are rightly proud of their beautiful city with its remarkable engineering history. Visitors come from all over the world to see Bristol and its many attractions.

“Arc will bring a new iconic landmark, something totally unique and a global first. This is great news for Bristol, it will really put our city in the international spotlight once again.”

Arc’s project manager Alice Ellis added: “Bristol has a unique maritime and engineering legacy. Arc will tell that story in a new and really exciting way which showcases Bristol’s unique history and reputation for innovation.”

Arc Bristol is holding a public consultation and exhibition of its proposals, before submitting a planning application to Bristol City Council.

The attraction is expected to open in Spring 2022.

Proposals will be on display at We The Curious, on Wednesday, October 16, from 2pm to 8pm. People are invited to view the plans and provide feedback before a planning application is submitted later this year.

Details will also be on Arc’s website, where people can also give feedback.

Bristol would be the flagship city for the attraction

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Lofty ambitions for cable car system in Bristol

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