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KKA Designed Ashton Gate Development Plans Get Green Light

Liverpool architecture firm KKA has received approval from Bristol City Council for its work on the 3,626-seater Sports and Convention Centre next door to Ashton Gate Stadium.

The Sporting Quarter – developed by Bristol Sport – will provide a new home for the Bristol Flyers, a hotel, conferencing facilities, a multi-storey car park, and retail space alongside commercial and residential space.

Detailed work will start immediately on the next stage of this project. The first phase of the Sporting Quarter development will be the Sports and Convention Centre alongside the hotel, which hopes to be on site in late Summer 2023.

In a meeting which lasted just over two hours, in front of a full public gallery, the Sporting Quarter application and the Longmoor Village plan for 510 homes were debated with members voting in favour for both of the twinned applications.

The Sporting Quarter represents KKA’s latest involvement in helping to shape the sporting architecture of Bristol, having previously designed the redevelopment of Ashton Gate Stadium and the Robins High Performance Centre.

Chris Long, director, KKA, said: “This is a really exciting moment for our practice and for the city of Bristol. The Sporting Quarter needs to thrive 365 days a year, so we designed it to act like a ‘mini-city’ in itself, a kind of ‘campus’, that embodies all of the characteristics which make such places a success. We focused on creating an environment that is well-connected, diverse, and alive with activity where people would choose to spend time.

“We are confident that the Sporting Quarter – like our other Bristol schemes – will not only generate a sporting legacy for the city, but a wellbeing and socio-economic heritage. Taken as a whole, they will deliver infrastructure and transport improvements, a swathe of employment opportunities, a new ‘destination’ area for the city and help stimulate the visitor economy. The new Stadium and Sports and Convention Centre will also plug a gap in Bristol’s events and conferencing provision, bringing new cultural and corporate events to the city and enriching its arts scene.

“The delivery of these schemes indicates just how committed Bristol Sport is to its mission of elevating Bristol as a dynamic, exciting fixture on the global sport and entertainment map. We’re thrilled to be part of such an exciting project.”

KKA’s work on the Ashton Gate redevelopment saw the design, construction and fit-out of new stands to replace the existing Wedlock and Williams Stands and extensive conversion works to the existing Dolman Stand and Concourse.

The Robins High Performance Centre, officially opened last summer, includes a floodlit showpitch, capable of hosting the club’s Under-18’s, Under-23’s and Bristol City Women’s matches. The centre also includes two other full-size pitches and two further training areas.

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 south west 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.”

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