Bristol to benefit from new entertainment arena
The new Bristol Arena will put Bristol on the entertainment map, providing residents with a world-class performance venue on their doorstep.
Bristol is a city that’s well-known for its great entertainment, boasting a plethora of music venues, cutting edge art galleries and cool bars and restaurants, as well as putting on a full calendar of events, including a jazz and blues festival, a harbour festival and, of course the famous international balloon fiesta.
One thing this fantastic city has been missing, however, is a world-class entertainment arena capable of holding large capacity crowds. But this is soon set to change with the development of Bristol Arena.
World-class entertainment on the doorstep
Bristol is currently the only major UK city without an arena, meaning that residents need to travel to other cities in order to see touring arena shows. With a planned launch date of 2020, the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena will provide an exciting new angle to Bristol’s entertainment offerings, providing residents of the city and surrounding areas with a major new performance venue, virtually on their doorstep.
The Arena plans to host around 100 events per year, taking in a whole host of different genres, including comedy shows, music gigs, sports and exhibition events, and family entertainment shows. The similarly sized First Choice Arena in Leeds has hosted a number of high profile celebrities and events, such as Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams, and Premier League Darts – and it is envisaged that the new Bristol Arena will attract a similar calibre of acts.
But it’s not only for large events. As well as accommodating large crowds, the Arena will also have a flexible design which enables it to be converted into a smaller space for theatre-style performances. When there are no large events on, the space can also be used for temporary and pop-up events such as festivals, markets and outdoor film screenings – making it a really versatile entertainment venue that will appeal to a number of different audiences.
As well as bringing large entertainment acts to Bristol, the Arena will also offer other benefits to the local community.
Housed on the former diesel depot site near Bristol Temple Meads station, the new Arena will help to regenerate a city centre site that was formerly derelict and it is hoped that this will be a catalyst for further development in the area, helping to create a vibrant new area in the city that attracts residents and visitors alike. It is also expected to offer a major boost to the local economy, particularly if it follows the example of the First Direct Arena, which generated over £25 million in its first full year of operation.
Of course, a development of this scale does not come easily, and has taken a lot of complex planning to put into action. As well as Bristol City Council and entertainment and sports design firm Populous, the development and planning team also includes experts from the world of engineering, architecture and sound engineering. And this team has had to put in a lot of work behind the scenes, obtaining planning permission, carrying out measured building surveys, and drawing up detailed plans, in order to get the project to its current stage.
The project was finally given the go-ahead in April last year, and a contractor appointed in August. And while an exact date of opening has not yet been agreed, the Arena is scheduled to open some time in 2020. Whenever it opens, the Arena is sure to be a welcome addition to Bristol, helping to put the city firmly on the entertainment map.