We spoke to Andrew Billingham, Managing Director of YTL Arena Bristol to discuss what happens next now that the plans for the 17,000-capacity arena have been given the go-ahead.

Andrew, it’s very exciting that the planning approval has been granted. Can you just remind us what the plans involve?

Andrew: Our vision is to put Bristol on the world stage for live music and entertainment. The iconic Brabazon Hangars – the birthplace of Concorde and supersonic travel – will be reimagined and brought back to life as a 17,000-capacity, net-zero carbon, supersonic Arena and live entertainment complex for Bristol and the wider region.

Bristol is the only major UK city without an arena – for the first-time ever, it will make the city a must-play venue for major global artists. Not only that, but it will bring live sport, family entertainment, comedy and theatre shows to the region, making it accessible for people who would otherwise have had to travel to London or Birmingham to see a show.

And how significant is this latest milestone?

Andrew: This is a landmark moment, not only for us, but we hope for people across Bristol and the South West.

We are thrilled to announce that, after Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils both granted approval for YTL Arena Bristol in March, this month the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has made the decision not to call in the application The Secretary of State’s decision is the final approval we needed to push forward our plans to deliver an arena for Bristol and the South West.

We also spoke to Jon McDiarmid, Director at YTL Developments, to explore how the YTL Arena will benefit the wider new neighbourhood.

Jon, what impact will YTL Arena Bristol have on Brabazon, the new neighbourhood being built on the former Filton Airfield?

Jon: Quite simply, YTL Arena Bristol will be a big part of what makes Brabazon the most exciting new place to be in the South West.

What makes a great neighbourhood is variety: a variety of homes and apartments to live in, a variety of different and creative workplaces, and a variety of ways to relax and enjoy your free time. YTL Arena Bristol will mean those who live and work at Brabazon will be at the heart of one of the UK’s best destinations for events and entertainment.

How will the Arena affect plans for Brabazon?

Jon: We are already building the first phase of new homes at Brabazon and are making good progress. We expect the first residents to move into their new homes in 2021.

But Brabazon will be delivered in stages over the next 20 years: the fact that we have secured planning approval right at the start of the development will ensure that the Arena is fully integrated into the heart of this new neighbourhood.

Securing planning approval also means we may be able to move more quickly to build the roads, utilities, cycle paths and walking routes that both the new neighbourhood and the Arena will need, accelerating progress at Brabazon.

Finally, what happens next before people can go to their first gig at YTL Arena Bristol?

Andrew: Obviously there is still lots of hard work to do. Our focus now is to finalise our detailed internal designs.

We should then be in a position to begin construction which is likely to take a further two years. All being well we will then be welcoming fans to the first gig at the YTL Arena. And we can’t wait!

Visit YTL Arena Bristol for the latest news and updates on YTL Arena Bristol.

All dates are estimates and may be subject to planning approval and/or change. All computer-generated images (CGIs) and media are indicative only and are not drawn to scale.