Bristol arena designs revealed for old Filton Airfield

The arena could be built by 2023 if plans are approved. Credit: YTL

The long and often ill-tempered debate over where to place an indoor arena for Bristol may have moved closer to clarity, with the naming of the designers of the proposed venue on the former Filton Airfield.

Owners YTL has appointed Grimshaw to develop designs for the site which would see the conversion of the former Brabazon hangars into a 16,000-seat capacity venue.

The group is also exploring the chance to build 2,600 homes on the giant site which sits just inside the Bristol boundary.

Office developments and 'a vibrant town centre set amongst landscaped public squares and parkland' are also promised.

The hangar could be transformed into Bristol's arena. Credit: ITV News

The announcement follows Mayor Marvin Rees' rejection of land beside Bristol Temple Meads as the arena site last year, despite the city council spending £9 million to buy and clear the land.

We are very excited to announce our design team. This represents a very positive step forward for us. We are now working up our firm proposals to repurpose the Brabazon hangars to create a visionary arena that will put Bristol on the world stage.

Andrew Billingham, YTL Arena Bristol Managing Director

Grimshaw's past achievements include work on Cornwall's Eden Project and Thermae Bath Spa and is currently working on The Engine Shed 2 project in Bristol.

Grimshaw have been appointed to work on designs for the arena. Credit: YTL

The project team says it aims to submit a full planning application in the coming months and if successful the arena could be open by 2023.