Work starts on transformation of historic aircraft hangar

Work has started on converting an historic aircraft hangar into a brand new community hub.

YTL Developments has started construction on Hangar 16U, a new local, social hub for the community in North Bristol.

Construction work on Hangar 16U at Brabazon – the new neighbourhood being built on the former Filton Airfield – is the latest development at the site.

The news comes days after the approval for the revised masterplan for Brabazon at the end of February.

It also comes after YTL Developments announced plans to make Brabazon the first heart-safe neighbourhood in the South West in conjunction with the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), one of a trio of charity partnerships supporting mental health, physical safety and social wellbeing for Brabazon and the wider community in North Bristol.

Hangar 16U was once a hive of activity, assembling and maintaining aircraft in the Airfield’s aviation heyday.

Now the brick-built structure will have a new lease of life as a local, sociable community hub at Brabazon that will serve residents from across North Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Downstairs there will be a bustling open-plan café to catch up with friends for coffee or enjoy a family lunch.

There will be quiet spots for studying, activity rooms hosting a busy social calendar of events, and a community-focused fitness centre with both cardio machines and weight-training facilities for those wanting to work out.

Upstairs will feature dedicated youth spaces, more activity rooms and a large social space, the perfect venue for multi-faith groups, public meetings or family events.

Visitors will spill out onto the 15-acre Brabazon Park to the West, with its exercise areas, children’s playgrounds and public lawns that will be perfect for picnicking.

To the East, Hangar 16U will open onto a vibrant new public square that will be a focal point for The Hangar District, the first phase of new homes at Brabazon. A range of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom homes at The Hangar District are on sale now, with prices starting from under £200,000.

Designed by renowned Bristol-based architects Ferguson Mann, the restoration plans ensure the preservation of the hangar’s unique features, including its iconic Belfast trusses and intricate red brickwork.

Construction work is now well underway, with the hangar’s original doors having been removed ready to be restored and rehung. Construction is expected to last approximately 18 months, meaning Hangar 16U should open to the public in Summer / Autumn 2025.

Sebastian Loyn, Planning and Development Director at YTL Developments, expressed excitement about Hangar 16U’s restoration, stating, “Hangar 16U’s restoration embodies the vision for Brabazon.

“As the birthplace of Concorde, this former Airfield was the centre of a community that changed the world. Our aim is to live up to that legacy by reimagining this historic hangar as a vibrant social hub, returning it to the heart of the community once again.

“Hangar 16U will provide something for everyone; a place for all ages and for all interests, for this generation and the next.

“The restoration of Hangar 16U is another sign of our commitment to the local community and to creating a truly sustainable neighbourhood at Brabazon. Our vision is to create the space, connectivity and opportunities that will drive local prosperity for the next 100 years.”