YTL Arena plans win the support of people across Bristol

Support for YTL’s proposals for an arena in Bristol has attracted a growing number of supporters from across the city and the wider region.

A diverse range of residents, businesses and local organisations in Bristol have all expressed their support for our plans to repurpose the Brabazon hangars into the UK’s third largest arena. Organisations that breathe life into our city, such as Destination Bristol, Bristol Music Trust and Business West are just a few of the supporters that have sent in their comments to Bristol City Council.

Last November, we submitted a planning application to build a 365-day-a-year live entertainment complex on the former Filton airfield site. The complex will include a 17,080-capacity arena, a large exhibition space and a place to eat, drink, work and play. 

Existing and new transport links will connect the YTL Arena Complex to the city centre and the wider South West region via rail, bus, bike and car.

A new railway station, just 200m from the main entrance of the arena, will begin operating in 2020 and will connect to Bristol Temple Meads in less than 15 minutes.

A dedicated MetroBus route and existing Bus services will link the Arena Complex to those living in the surrounding Bristol and South Gloucestershire area. Shuttle bus services will be in operation for large event days and 15 park & ride sites have been identified within a five-mile radius of the arena.

A ‘green superhighway’ will connect Brabazon with surrounding neighbourhoods for those who want to access the site on-foot or ride their bike to the complex.

Richard Bonner, Director at Business West, said: “I have visited the hangars and attended a concert at the venue last year and have observed how well the location worked in terms of organised and accessible transportation.

Of course, the full proposals will link to new Metrobus, rail connections and further highway, pedestrian and cycle infrastructure too. Securing planning approval will allow the developer to move forwards to bring back to life the incredible hangars, and create a world class events arena, alongside employment, community and associated facilities.”

The complex expects to attract more than 1.4 million visitors to Bristol, bringing in £1.5billion into the local economy over the next 25 years. This will not only create a huge economic boost for the region, but also raise the profile of Bristol and the South West.

John Hirst, Chief Executive of Destination Bristol said: “Bristol as a city has made great progress in recent years in many different ways. This proposed addition will undoubtedly add one more major piece into the 'city’s jigsaw'. For many years we have been hoping to add an arena to the long existing list of great attractions in Bristol.

The role of our team in Bristol is to promote the city, attracting more visitors and to increase the value of the visitor economy across the whole city and region. I am sure this will further raise our profile and attract even more visitors and residents to enjoy the enhanced offer even more.”

The extra visitors will increase overnight stays in Bristol by £33 million annually, and a £27 million additional spend in local bars and restaurants.

Raphael Herzog, Chair of the Bristol Hoteliers Association, and General Manager of De Vere Tortworth Court Hotel, fully backs our plans: “As Chair and on behalf of the Bristol Hoteliers Association, we are fully behind this project. The arena has been talked about for over 30 years and it is now time to get the project up and running. Seeing an arena would be such a great boost for the city and something the city has been missing for years.”

The flexible bowl configuration will accommodate a variety of live entertainment shows, from large scale concerts at 17,080 to intimate 3,600 capacity productions set in a theatre style environment. This will extend Bristol’s ability to attract high quality events to the city.

We will attract events that previously could not perform in the region due to space limitations, while also ensuring that we don’t take shows away from iconic and historic Bristol venues.

Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust: “Bristol Music Trust supports the creation of an arena where the presentation of live music will enhance the cultural life of our city region. We see the plans as complementary to the current transformation of Colston Hall and we plan to work collaboratively with YTL and others to ensure a first-class programme of music across all city venues.”

While music will play an important role in our events programme, we will also host a variety of sporting events, from international games to regional competitions. YTL Arena Complex will work closely with local sporting organisations to house events that allow the local community to celebrate home-grown talent.

Business Manager at Bristol Hawks Gymnastics Club, James May said: “Bristol Hawks Gymnastics Club strongly supports this application for the YTL Arena. We know of several national and international sporting events that could be held here, benefitting the local population by having these events on their doorstep, the local economy with visitors from further afield spending their money in Bristol and the surrounding towns and cities, and local infrastructure by re-using a space so well.”

Bristol residents from Patchway to Long Ashton have sent in their comments of support, excited by the prospect of a new development that will bring jobs, tourism and a new destination for the community to enjoy.

One resident from Charlton Hayes said: “The two residents' days tours we took of the site and hangars, and the plans we've seen, look like a fantastic addition to our community. The additional infrastructure will be a boom for not just Charlton Hayes but the wider Greater Bristol area. It is shameful that a city our size has no such venue when Cardiff is building its third. There will of course be more transport, but that comes with development. We bought our new house here knowing all that - and indeed hoping the arena would come along too.”

On 4 March 2020, Bristol City Council’s planning committee meets to discuss the plans for YTL Arena Bristol. If you’d like to submit a comment of support before then, please click here.