YTL submits plans for an Arena Complex for Bristol

The dream of an arena for Bristol will take a step closer to reality this week when YTL submits its plans to repurpose the Brabazon Hangars at Filton. 

The planning application to Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council to repurpose the Brabazon Hangars in the north of Bristol will create a new entertainment complex for Bristol and the South West. 

The new Complex will create more than 500 new jobs and inject £1.5billion into the local economy over 25 years, as well as raise the profile of the city and wider region. 

Managing Director of YTL Arena Complex, Andrew Billingham said: ‘YTL’s commitment is demonstrated as we submit our exciting plans to deliver a 100% privately funded entertainment complex for Bristol.’ 

It uses the 28,000m2 floorspace of all three hangars to create something unique in the south west: an arena, exhibition and leisure space all under one roof. The arena will be in the Central Hangar and with 17,080 capacity, it will be the third largest in the UK after Manchester and the O2. The East Hangar will house a new Festival Hall; a flat floor event  space for conventions, exhibitions and working in tandem with the arena to attract large scale events. The West Hangar, The Hub, will be a place to eat, work and play, with leisure facilities, food and drink and home to small or start-up businesses. 

Andrew said: ‘We’re building much more than just an arena - it’s a 365-day entertainment destination inside the iconic Brabazon Hangars that will create new jobs, bring new business to the region and enhance Bristol’s position as a leading European city.

Sustainability is a key focus. Our plans include zero waste to landfill, harvesting rainwater and installing solar panels on the vast roof area. By repurposing the existing hangars, the proposals will save more than 18,600 tonnes of carbon emissions alone. The development of a landscape strategy will be sympathetic to the local surroundings and the approved former Filton Airfield scheme.  

Seb Loyn, Director of Planning & Development at YTL Developments said: “YTL Developments is already beginning to transform the former Filton Airfield into a thriving new neighbourhood for Bristol, known as Brabazon. The YTL Arena Complex will be connected to and complement this new urban community, creating a place where every generation can live, work and play.”

A new train station due to open in 2021 and a new Metrobus service, both serving the new Brabazon neighbourhood and within 500m of the proposed Arena Complex, will create transport links to the city centre.

Andrew said: ‘We’ll encourage our visitors to use public transport where possible. As YTL will manage the Complex we will be able to discourage car use and encourage other forms of transport through incentives and ticketing strategies.’

Over the past 12 months nearly 2,000 people have visited the Brabazon Hangars and heard about YTL’s plans, and the team have visited locations in the north, south, east and west of Bristol as well as in South Gloucestershire.

‘We’ve been encouraged by the overwhelming public support to our plans with the results of a recent survey showing 96.4% in full support, and 99.9% just wanting an arena in Bristol to be proud of.

‘We hope that local people who visit the arena will immediately feel at home, leaving at the end of a fantastic night feeling proud of all that the city has to offer. And we hope that those visiting from further afield leave with a clear sense of how amazing this region is and want to come back for more.’ 

‘We’ll create an entertainment destination for the South West of England that puts Bristol on the world stage and creates the ultimate night out. Built by us, inspired by you, enjoyed by everyone,’ Andrew added. 

If the proposals are given the go ahead, YTL plans to be opening the doors to the public in early 2023.

Read more about our plans.