BRISTOL’S NEW arena came a step closer last month when Malaysian developer YTL put in a planning application to Bristol and South Gloucestershire authorities for a 17,080-capacity venue in Filton, to the north of the city.
The project is the surviving proposal of three separate initiatives for the city, whose population of 500,000 people makes it is one of the UK’s last major conurbations without a 5,000-plus capacity venue.
The new arena was given a clear run by the city’s mayor Marvin Rees, who cancelled the previous 12,000 capacity Arena Island project in the city centre.
The YTL Arena will repurpose the 28,000 square metre floor space of the site’s Brabazon hangars in a project expected to create 500 jobs and inject £1.5 billion into the local economy in the next 25 years.
Although critics in Bristol Council took aim at transport links to the new site, YTL Arena Complex plans a new train station at the site, and the company’s managing director Andrew Billingham insists the project will be completed with 100 per cent private funds.
“A recent survey [of local people] showed 96.4 per cent in full support [of the YTL Arena], and 99.9 per cent just wanting an arena in Bristol to be proud of,” says Billingham. “We’ll create an entertainment destination for the South West of England that puts Bristol on the world stage.”
If the project receives planning permission, YTL expects to open the arena in early 2023.