top of page

CEO of YTL Arena, Bristol at our 'UK Innovation Cities' event

Image: courtesy YTL Arena, Bristol - designed by Grimshaw with Manica Architects

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Andrew Billingham, CEO of YTL Arena in Bristol, will be speaking at our 'UK Innovation Cities' event at Arnolfini Arts. The YTL Arena sits in the iconic Brabazon Hangars in North Bristol, which was once the home of Concorde.

Former CEO of Bristol Sport, the company responsible for rebuilding Ashton Gate Stadium, Andrew has a wealth of experience in the sport and entertainment industry.

When Andrew was first appointed to his role, he said: “The moment I walked through the Brabazon Hangars’ huge doors and was surrounded by so much history of innovation and engineering I knew something special needs to happen to bring them back to life. 

Fighting climate change has been a priority in the building of the new arena. The company states:

'The most transformational actions we can take are to reduce man-made greenhouse gas emissions, phase out the use of fossil fuels and move to renewable energy. Our goal is to be the most responsible and sustainable arena in Europe, and to be carbon neutral from day one. We are committed to delivering an arena for Bristol that aligns itself with the city’s passion and dedication to environmental causes, building on the work that has continued since Bristol was the first UK city to be named a European Green Capital in 2015.

'We fully support the touring industry’s move towards more green practices, with artists such as Billie Eilish, Maroon 5, Tame Impala and The 1975 collaborating with non-profit arts organisation Reverb to reduce the environmental footprint of their tours, and educate fans.

'The Complex will operate without the use of fossil fuels. Solar panels covering 10,000m2 combined with two megawatts of battery storage will allow solar harvesting for peak time use. Air source heat pumps will provide ambient heating and cooling, while LED lighting will be used throughout the Complex, linked back to an intelligent building management system.

By repurposing the Brabazon Hangars, the birthplace of Concorde, we will save approximately 18,600 tonnes CO2 from being emitted compared to building a completely new structure. The concrete floor, which supported every UK-built Concorde, will be retained as the event floor, where fans will be able to dance.

'We will source more than 75% of our products and services locally, sharing our success with the wider community and driving business to the region. The Arena will attract 1.4m visitors to the city region generating in excess of 300,000 more overnight stays as fans choose to stay in city hotels, adding £60m per year to the city’s tourism economy.

'The Complex will create 500 new jobs with a starting salary of the living wage and offer apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.A community stage will offer local, up-and-coming artists the chance to showcase their talents, and through our community programme we will collaborate with city partners to use the power of music and entertainment for greater good.'

Joining Andrew will be Grimshaw Partner Keith Brewis who is the project lead for YTL Arena. Grimshaw states:

'We are working with Manica Architecture to design a progressive and adaptable facility, whilst carefully retaining the industrial spirit of the historic hangars which showcase Bristol’s engineering reputation, to provide an internationally unique venue.

'Respecting the principles of sustainability inherent in adaptive reuse, YTL Arena will utilise low carbon energy sources, such as onsite battery storage, rainwater harvesting and grey water re-use.'


Recent Posts
bottom of page