Design & Development

Council approves Ashton Gate arena plans

Plans for a new 3,626-seat sports and convention centre next to Ashton Gate have been approved by Bristol City Council.

The venue will serve as the new home of the Bristol Flyers basketball team, with the wider development to also include a hotel, conferencing facilities, a multi-storey car park, retail space, and commercial and residential space.

During yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) meeting, the council also approved plans for 510 new homes on the former landfill site known as Longmoor. Bristol Sport submitted plans for the new arena and housing development in June 2021.

New designs were released for the arena back in February 2020, with plans having first been revealed in September 2018. The arena is designed to significantly expand the footprint of Ashton Gate, with the Flyers now set to join Championship football team Bristol City and Premiership rugby union club Bristol Bears on the stadium complex.

Last night’s planning meeting lasted just over two hours, with members voting in favour of the twinned applications. Detailed work will start immediately on the next stage of the project.

The first phase of the development will be the arena, alongside the hotel, with hopes to be on site in late summer 2023. The arena and housing development will need final sign-off from the government.

Martin Griffiths, chairman of Ashton Gate Stadium, said: “After four years of consultation and engagement it was great to see the support for these proposals. To have the councillors approve both sets of planning applications for the sporting quarter and Longmoor will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sport in this city.

“To be able to ensure the future financial sustainability of the Flyers basketball team by providing them with their own home at BS3 and be able to expand on the incredible work that our community foundations already deliver is fantastic.

“The sporting quarter will be a catalyst for expansion and regeneration in southwest Bristol. It will drive local jobs, the local supply chain and by having a hotel attached to the sports and conference centre means we will be able to attract events to the city which would traditionally lose out to cities like Birmingham and Cardiff. The positive impact on the city will be enormous.”