The Bristol area is set to significantly increase its capacity for large scale conferences, exhibitions and events following the announcement of three major developments in the city, with phased competitions between 2023 and 2026.
Meet Bristol and Bath, the official Convention Bureau for Bristol, Bath and the surrounding region, anticipates that these increased capacities will put Bristol alongside destinations such as, Glasgow and Manchester for delegate capacity.
In North Bristol, the YTL Arena Bristol will be the largest indoor arena and exhibition centre in the South. With a total 19000 capacity, the East Hangar will offer 6000sqm of pillar free floorspace and a 20m ceiling height, perfect for exhibitions and conferences. This is set to open in late 2025 / early 2026.
Bristol Beacon will reopen on 30th November 2023 following a five-year transformation project. The refurbished music venue in the centre of Bristol has seen improvements to its spaces, with the 2000-plus capacity Beacon Hall, the 500 capacity Lantern Hall and the new 200 capacity Weston Cellar.
The new Ashton Gate Sports and Convention Centre will sit alongside the current stadium with 4000m2 floorspace and a 232-room hotel, with work expected to start later this summer. The development will bring the Bristol Flyers Basketball team to the heart of BS3, alongside Bristol City and Bristol Bears, and will enable Ashton Gate to build on its success as a sports, entertainment and business events venue.
Part of Visit West, Meet Bristol and Bath is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing business for and promoting the region as a destination for business events, including association and incentive travel, both in the UK and overseas.
Helen Applin, Head of Business Events at Meet Bristol and Bath Convention Bureau explains:
“The next three years will see an exciting transformation for Bristol as the city repositions itself on the international stage. These developments will further enhance our reputation as a destination for business events, driving new business to the region and growing our local economy.
“Having strong rail links to much of the UK, an international gateway in Bristol Airport and close proximity to London, , the region is now widely regarded as a major destination , with Bristol and Bath just 11 minutes apart and surrounded by beautiful countryside, and the stunning north Somerset coastline.