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An artist’s impression of the central hangar, also known as YTL Arena, which will be turned into a 17,000-seater multipurpose auditorium.

YTL Developments UK will transform the gigantic Brabazon Hangars at the former Filton airfield in the north of Bristol, England, into a world-class indoor entertainment arena.

Director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong said the arena could generate economic activities worth £1.5 billion over 25 years.

The planning application was submitted to the Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council in the middle of last month.

The iconic Brabazon Hangars are housed in a 352m-long and 35m-tall building across 10.5ha. They have been a part of Bristol’s heritage since the 1940s. The building has three interlinked aircraft hangars.

Built in 1946 for the construction of the Brabazon airliner, the building later became the birthplace of Concorde.

The final Concorde flight in 2003 was from Heathrow Airport to Filton.

The Filton airfield ended commercial flights in December 2012, with YTL Power International taking over the site in 2015.

YTL Developments UK director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong says the firm is building an entertainment destination that will create jobs, bring new businesses to the region and enhance Bristol’s position as a leading European city. Courtesy Pic

The site will now become a new urban community with more than 2,600 homes, creative workplaces and a vibrant town centre set among public squares and parks.

YTL Developments aims to deliver a “world-class venue for Bristol” that could rival London’s O2 and Birmingham’s NEC in terms of restaurants, concessions, clubs and bars.

The plan includes transforming the central hangar, also known as YTL Arena, into a 17,000-seater multipurpose auditorium, allowing Bristol to host live shows.

The east hangar will be transformed into “Festival Hall”, a breakout area for the main arena show that could also be used for trade shows, exhibitions, conventions and other events.

The west hangar, called “The Hub”, will be opened throughout the year for dining, work and play, with leisure facilities and a space for start-up businesses.

“We are building much more than just an arena. It is a 365-day entertainment destination inside the iconic Brabazon Hangars that will create jobs, bring new businesses to the region and enhance Bristol’s position as a leading European city.

“We will put Bristol on the world map with this massive entertainment complex,” Yeoh told the New Straits Times.

The site would also boast a new train station that would connect to Bristol Temple Meads in less than 15 minutes and a dedicated bus service to the city centre, he added.

It is estimated that the new entertainment destination will attract more than 1.4 million visitors annually.

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