Bristol could get its long-awaited arena within three years.
The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has approved plans for a major venue to be built on the Bristol-South Gloucestershire border.
The 17,000 capacity arena and leisure complex will be the UK’s third largest, providing hundreds of jobs in construction and, when it's ready, staffing the complex.
It should bring a huge economic and cultural boost to the whole of Greater Bristol with an expected 1.4 million visitors a year.
Estimated number of visitors in one year
YTL, the firm behind it, says no public money will be needed. It welcomes today's decision.
During the current COVID-19 crisis this is especially welcomed news. It is a huge step forward for everybody in Bristol and the region. We are fully committed to opening a venue that will inspire future generations, giving our great city a beating heart across the global music and entertainment industry.
An arena for Bristol - a timeline
There have been calls for the city for decades to have a major venue capable of hosting big names like those in Birmingham and Cardiff.
March 2003 - Initial plans for a Bristol Arena unveiled, which never became a reality
2009 - Arena back on the agenda supported by architect George Ferguson - who later became Bristol's first elected mayor
May 2014 - Work begins on link bridge for "Arena Island"next to Temple Meads railway station
November 2015 - Designs unveiled for a Bristol Arena, spearheaded by Mayor George Ferguson
March 2020 - Bristol City Council approves plans for a 17,080-capacity venue in the Brabazon hangars, within the Bristol boundary, while South Gloucestershire Council okays the construction of a temporary car park, access routes and a pedestrian bridge.
7 April 2020 - Both sets of plans given final approval by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
Now - YTL will finalise the detailed design and tender for services
2021 - Construction of the YTL Arena is due to begin
2023 - The new arena should be open for business
What will the YTL Arena look like?
Three Brabazon hangars - which once housed Concorde - will now house three elements:
Central Hangar - YTL Arena - multipurpose auditorium able to host everything from live music and comedy shows to sporting events and theatre.
East Hangar - Festival Hall - a flat floor space for trade shows, exhibitions, conventions and other events.
West Hangar - The Hub - a place to eat, work and play. It will include a visitor attraction, leisure space and work space - a 365-day a year venue.
How easy will it be to get to the YTL arena?
There have been concerns that the Filton Airfield site is a bit remote for those people in the centre of Bristol but YTL says the arena will be well connected to the city centre and the West Country as a whole.
Journey time from London Paddington to Bristol Parkway
The Arena site on the former Filton Airfield is within easy reach of the M4 and M5. A new railway station is to be built, linking it with the city centre and Bristol Parkway is just two miles away. There are also bus routes, including the Metrobus.
The company is keen to discourage car use, although there will be designated parking on site for people with disabilities.
When will work begin on the new arena?
Given the current situation with Covid-19, we asked YTL when work will begin on the project.
Construction will not begin until next year. Between now and then there is an enormous amount to complete, including finalising detailed design, tendering and procurement. Currently, all of the team are working safely at home progressing (this).