Brabazon Arena – planning application submitted

Brabazon steps

YTL has revealed details of the ambitious plans for YTL Arena Bristol in a planning application to transform the Brabazon hangars at Filton into a state-of-the-art venue.

An impressive “Wembley Way”-style walkway will take visitors into the Arena.  Concert-goers will walk up 36 “Brabazon Steps” and along the 75 metre-long bridge over the railway line into the 17,000 capacity arena.

If approved, this will be the third largest arena in the UK after Manchester and the O2 in London.  The “unique seating bowl” design of the arena would allow for flexible capacity ranging from 4,000 to 17,000. This could attract a variety of events including theatre, comedy and live music. 

All-year-round visitor attraction

The west hangar would contain “The Hub”, a 365-day part of the venue and including a visitor attraction, leisure, workspace and food and drink.

The east hangar would contain “Festival Hall”, a break-out area for the main arena show. It could also be used for trade shows, exhibitions, conventions and other events.

Further plans for the arena complex include zero waste to landfill, harvesting rainwater and installing solar panels on the roof area.

Andrew Billingham, Managing Director of YTL Arena, says the new complex will create more than 500 new jobs and inject £1.5 billion into the local economy over 25 years.

He added:

YTL’s commitment is demonstrated as we submit our exciting plans to deliver a 100 per cent privately funded entertainment complex for Bristol.  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.

YTL have submitted plans to both Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils.  Bristol City Council will have the final say on whether the scheme goes ahead, but as the site sits right on the border, South Gloucestershire Council will be invited to give its input.

Getting there

Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils will be jointly responsible for making £100 million worth of infrastructure improvements around the Filton area.

This includes a MetroBus route going through the new Brabazon neighbourhood, due to open in 2021, and the Temple Meads to Henbury Line. This will have a station adjacent to the arena, due to open in 2021.  Both these projects have already been approved. YTL are also investigating the possibility of a direct link to Bristol Parkway station.

If the arena proposals are approved, YTL plans to open the doors to the public in early 2023.