Filton site a possibility for Bristol Arena

January 26 2018

The location of the new Bristol Arena is being reconsidered against a background of rising costs. As well as the city centre location by Temple Meads train station, the possibility of using the Brabazon Hangar in Filton has been raised.

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The location of the new Bristol Arena is being reconsidered against a background of rising costs. As well as the city centre location by Temple Meads train station, the possibility of using the Brabazon Hangar in Filton has been raised.

Marvin Rees, writing his Mayor’s blog, commented: “We will deliver and build an arena for Bristol. That is a straightforward matter of fact, and it is absolutely my intention to ensure that work commences at the earliest possible opportunity. 

“We must know whether the prices put forward for the arena are value for money for the build itself. And this needs to be assessed against alternate locations and alternative uses of the site and the relative benefit the various combinations would have on the wider economy.”

So, would moving the venue to Filton impact on our local area? Bishopston councillor Tom Brook gave his view: “As Gloucester Road is one of the main arteries to and from the city centre, I think the arena will result in increased traffic for our area regardless of whether it’s built in the city centre or on Filton airfield. There will either be people travelling up the A38 to Filton or down to the city centre.

“In terms of ease of access for our residents to either site, they’re both roughly equidistant from the ward. From our area I’d expect that people would be mostly looking to use public transport to get there. Happily we’re well placed either way thanks to the frequent buses along Gloucester Road and the planned rail station at Ashley Down. 

“One interaction that may mean Filton isn’t a good option is how an arena there would interact with the massive amount of new housing and associated developments on the airfield (called the Cribbs-Patchway New Neighbourhood). Bristol City Council officers are already doing lots of work about mitigating the impact on our road network due to these developments. Clearly if an arena is built on that same site there could be a massive detrimental impact on the transport network from the 12,000 arena visitors added to the residents of the 5,700 new homes. This impact would surely be felt in our area given the A38 runs right through it. At least if the arena was in the centre this impact would be lessened.

“A value for money study has been commissioned and will be reporting in April. I await that eagerly before I draw any conclusions about which site I think is better, both for our area and for Bristol as a whole.”