Bristol’s new 17,000-capacity YTL Arena has expanded its team with two senior hires, while work has just begun on the venue that remains on track to open in 2024, according to developer YTL.

Une Marija Jurkstaite (left) has been appointed head of experience while Matt Blackhouse has been hired as senior events project manager. Jurkstaite joins from Lithuania’s Žalgiris Arena (cap. 20,000) where she was chief business officer, while Blackhouse was previously senior events manager at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff (5,000).



Richard Latham, director of Tier 1 Security Consultancy, joins the team as senior security consultant, following roles as head of security for O2 Arena (20,000), The House of Commons and Shakespeare’s Globe (1,570). He has also recently served as an expert security witness in the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

Ian Tussie, managing director of T8 Partnerships and former head of commercial partnerships at ASM Global, will be working with YTL’s partnerships team to develop and support the delivery of the arena’s commercial partnership programme. He has also worked at AO Arena (21,000), First Direct Arena (13,781), P&J Live Arena (15,000), and the Bonus Arena (3,500).

YTL Arena CEO Andrew Billingham said, “Une and Matt bring a wealth of experience in delivering thousands of live events and will help us enormously. Whilst finalising design and construction elements, we are also looking ahead to doors opening and building our operating team to deliver one of the best arena fan and artist experiences in the UK and across Europe.”

YTL Arena is set to be the first live indoor music and entertainment venue of its size in south west England. The venue is being built at the historic Brabazon hangars in Bristol’s northern district of Filton, where the Brabazon and Concorde airliners were developed. When constructed, it will form the focal point of a new £100m housing development and train station on the former airfield.

Billingham previously told Access that the arena will have flexible capacity options, enabling promoters to stage shows there with a “sold-out feel” in audience capacity configurations from 4,000 to 17,000.