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16th Mar 2020

Bristol’s YTL Arena gets green light

Bristol City Council has granted YTL permission to repurpose the Brabazon aircraft hangars at the former Filton Airfield and deliver a new live entertainment complex for Bristol.

Grant Associates worked in collaboration with lead architect Grimshaw, Manica Architecture and OPS Engineers to create the design concept for YTL Arena Complex, which will create the third largest arena in the UK after Manchester Arena and London’s O2.

YTL submitted an application in November 2019 to repurpose the Brabazon hangars in Filton, the birthplace of Concorde. Bristol City Council’s planning committee, made up of 11 councillors, voted in favour of the new arena, with eight voting in favour. There were two abstentions and one rejection.

Capable of hosting up to 17,080 people, YTL Arena Complex will put Bristol on the world map for large-scale events, while also celebrating the site’s place in aviation history.

The YTL Arena Complex forms part of a wider transformation of the local area. The hangars sit on the edge of the former Filton Airfield, which is now being transformed into Brabazon, a thriving new neighbourhood for Bristol. The 380-acre site will become a new urban community, with more than 2,600 homes, creative workplaces and a vibrant town centre set amongst public squares and parkland.

Grant Associates has been involved with the creation of Brabazon since 2015. The practice worked closely with architect Allies and Morrison on the Brabazon masterplan and developed the overall landscape strategy for the scheme, one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK.

Keith French, Director at Grant Associates, comments: “This is a landmark moment, not only for YTL and the Arena’s design team, but also for Bristol and the region, which currently lacks a venue of this size, and of world-class quality. Working closely with Grimshaw and Manica, our role has been to balance the requirements of such a large event space with the need for more intimate, human-scaled spaces. We want to create a venue that welcomes people and nature, inspiring a strong sense of place and connection with Filton’s heritage.”

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