Search

Video: 4,500-seat arena mooted for outskirts of Norwich

09:25 01 October 2014

An artists' impression of how the arena, hotel and civic centre could look

An artists' impression of how the arena, hotel and civic centre could look

Archant

Norwich’s Broadland Business Park could get a 4,500-seat music arena, it has emerged.

Which artists do similar-sized venues attract?

The Brighton Centre has a capacity of 4,500 for concerts, while the Plymouth Pavilions has a capacity of 4,000.

Artists which have appeared at these venues in recent years, or are due to perform in the coming months, include:

Blur

Plan B

Frank Turner

The Prodigy

Artic Monkeys

Madness

Jools Holland

Basement Jaxx

Paloma Faith

Peter Andre

Kasabian

Kaiser Chiefs

Erasure

Morrissey

The proposal, which is in the very early stages, could include a hotel and a civic centre in a bid to attract major music acts, comedians and exhibitions to East Anglia.

Lothbury Investment Management, the owners of Broadland Business Park on the outskirts of Thorpe St Andrew, have revealed they were approached by one of the UK’s major arena operators and are currently working with them with a view to bringing the entertainment venue to the park.

Lothbury are currently assessing the viability of such a development on the site, which is next to the A47 Norwich southern by-pass and new Postwick Hub. The proposal includes a 4,500 seat multi-purpose arena, designed to attract major music acts, comedians and exhibitions to the region.

Lothbury are also exploring other complimentary leisure and entertainment opportunities in order to create a major new leisure district for Norwich, Norfolk and East Anglia.

While land fronting Yarmouth Road has been identified as a possible site, many of the details have not yet been drawn up as both companies initially look at whether the idea stacks up financially.

Lothbury’s chief executive, Simon Radford, said: “It is early days but this is an exciting opportunity for both us and Broadland District Council.

“We have an ideal plot available, with easy access via the primary road network and no immediate neighbours who would be adversely affected. We have the land available, the region is lacking a venue like this and the operators think this is a great opportunity.”

He said if the project progresses, it will potentially create several hundred jobs as well as bring a major new entertainment venue to the east of England with benefits not just for Norwich, but Norfolk and the region as a whole.

The business park falls within the constituency of Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, but is also on the cusp of Chloe Smith’s Norwich North constituency.

Mr Simpson said: “If it went ahead, it would be an attractive, new and probably much-needed facility, hopefully bringing in more employment which is all good, as well as putting Norwich on the leisure tourism map.

“However the downside, obviously, and my top concern would be the impact on my constituents and also Chloe’s as well.”

Mr Simpson said he would be keen to ensure that any noise pollution or traffic did not impact on families or businesses.

Jonathan Emsell, Broadland District Councillor for Thorpe St Andrew South East, said in theory it sounded like an interesting prospect for a site with good transport links, which would be a major boost for east of the city.

However, he said it would be important for such a venue to have good car parking facilities, for example making the best use of the nearby park and ride site at Postwick.

He said: “It’s very interesting concept and it will be interesting to see how the plans progress.”

Music fans have longed for a concert hall in Norwich, but ambitious £25m plans to transform Norwich’s historic St Andrew’s Hall and Blackfriars’ Hall into a cultural and conference centre were put on ice almost four years ago due to the tough economic climate.

What do you think of the idea for a 4,500-seat arena at Broadland Business Park? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

27 comments

  • All for this, but like others have eluded too, it needs to be a larger venue, and maybe can double up as a sporting venue or other use. Much like other arenas around the country, Hull for instance has an arena that has an ice rink, hosts a Ice Hockey team with about a 2000 seat capacity for that, can be converted easily to a concert venue to seat about 10,000. Would give us more than one use for it then and giving the people of norwich more leisure options as you're not going to get an artist in there every week. At least if it had another option you increase revenue streams as well.

    Report this comment

    Liam Dickinson

    Friday, October 3, 2014

  • Which artists do similar-sized venues attract?... all of those listed by the EDP already play at the UEA etc.

    Report this comment

    I LoveNorfolk

    Thursday, October 2, 2014

  • The prospective owners of this venue are also a major booking agent that also owns a chain of venues around the country. Their touring artists are normally offered to the UEA etc. because the company doesn't own a venue in the area. If built, the new venue owners will stop all of their artists from playing at other venues in the city and instead only book them into their own venue. This would force several Norwich venues to close. However, Norwich needs a large exhibition centre capable of attracting major trade shows, indoor sports events and concerts. That would need a seated capacity of around 10,000 to make it viable for the booking agents of major artists. A council owned 10,000 capacity venue would genuinely attract events that wouldn't otherwise consider the area and so wouldn't have much of an impact upon the other venues.

    Report this comment

    I LoveNorfolk

    Thursday, October 2, 2014

  • An arena would be amazing for Norwich and the rest of Norfolk. I know we have various music venues locally, but many are small that attract less well know names and we have open air venues for gigs and festivals over the summer, which is great, but we are definitely missing an Arena for big name artists. I am a regularly pop concert goer and always find myself going to London, Manchester, Birmingham etc for them, so it would be fantastic to be able to go to concerts on my doorstep. I think it would be great to make it bigger than 4,500, maybe 6,000-8,000.

    Report this comment

    Katy Turvey

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Don't hold your breath as it's nothing more than 'Pie in the Sky'.

    Report this comment

    D. ROSS

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • @ Mr Gold, I hear what you are saying, but actually around those areas there are a number of arenas in close proximity all doing well, whereas one serving the Norfolk catchment as you put it, of that size, could I think also be successful. It's worth exploring anyway, there'll always be a minority with too much time on their hands who'll want to whinge regardless, as the comments section on this website proves time and time again ;)

    Report this comment

    SilverMachine

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • 4500 is bigger than anything else we have around here, led or Birmingham have a lot bigger catchment area and anyway I note people are moaning about parking and traffic! Think what it would be like thre times the size !

    Report this comment

    Mr Gold

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • What does Mother and Whiley think?

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Whiley Boy

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • A potentially excellent proposal, though 4,000 seats? Why not push for 12 to 15k to attract the bigger acts? Leeds has just opened one of that size with superb acoustics and is doing suitably well with attracting the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Queen. Obviously a lot hinges on feasibility, but worth looking into the liklihood of making something bigger better

    Report this comment

    SilverMachine

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • What a ridiculous idea. Is this what the Postwick hub is being built for. Madness.

    Report this comment

    K Arms

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Although it sounds a good idea no one has mentioned the other areas which could be affected,traffic along Yarmouth road is already a nightmare at times unless the new proposals have included all new access roads to hotel areas, conference areas, plus music venue which I agree with earlier comments seems to small, if they wish to do something to attract people into the area lets do something special, these are just a few of the things that I feel needs to be looked and discussed at a public meeting after all it will affect people living in the area, I am sure Broadland council would do this anyway

    Report this comment

    Lorraine

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Public transport?????

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • @GWhizz. Simple answer for you then. To small and acustically awfull. That's what's wrong! Have you never been to a concert? As well as capacity of the venue, the acoustics must be good as well. 4500 fans listening to music in poor accustics is a real downer and spoils the gig that you paid good money to listen to.

    Report this comment

    patrick

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • One further thought. Is the 'civic centre' a potential new office for Broadland District Council? Who will pay for this - ratepayers or is it partly a bribe by the developers to get planning permission? Obviously rate payers will have to pay but we need less and cheaper government not more costs to be paid by us all. These sort of things always have dramatic cost over runs because Councillors never state the true costs because they know it would never get approved if they did.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • I love the glamorous impracticality of the 'artists' impression' bearing in mind some of the consequences of this going ahead. May be we do need something like this or not but I don't have a view on this at the moment. Clearly Johnathan Emsell is completely out of touch with reality when referring to the park and ride. A full venue will create the need for in excess of 1,000 cars and the park and ride is invariably full and does not have that capacity anyway. Similar nonsense about using the Aviva car park facilities. The strain on traffic flows on the badly designed and inadequate capacity of the Postwick Hub will be laid bare during an event - chaos will reign. The idea of trams from Norwich city being able to help owes more to blind ideology of tram enthusiasts than realism. Nothing wrong with trams but is it really a potential solution? Time to take off rose coloured glasses and lets see what is really being proposed. This proposal may appeal to the vanity and ego of councillors but it needs joined up thinking.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Even if we did have a nice new venue, who wants to play or display around here? any event staged round here would be ruined either by the police or by Norfolk residents inability to leave other peoples belongings alone.

    Report this comment

    mr mayhem

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • It always amazes me when people say things like "It is time Norwich had its very own Music Venue" (che bramley). What about UEA, The Waterfront, St Andrew's Hall, Open, Theatre Royal, The Arts Centre, The Brickmakers & B2? Last time I checked, ALL of them were music venues. I've even been to a concert at NCFC. By all means build a bigger venue, but please stop this "there are no music venues" nonsense.

    Report this comment

    GWhizz

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • People are soo anti change. Embrace it!

    Report this comment

    christoph

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Why 4,500? Double the size at least and then you can still have smaller events if needed. Aviva could offer parking for nighttime events due the the massive car park they have and then charge and give the money to Charity maybe? Is a plan still in place for a new train station at the park and ride area? That would help with some of the transport issues plus the park and ride itself is being made much bigger. If the Arena was in the city centre everyone would moan about how every single time a event was on the city would grind to a stop, having it outside the city is a great idea just look at The NIA Birmingham, it is located outside the city centre most people get the buscoach from city centre and im sure if this was built the buscoach companies would jump at making more routes available to the arena from the city centre. I would love this Arena to be built as it would bring extra jobs to Thorpe Area and hopefully with the leisure building we will have some nice new places to dine and relax the night away

    Report this comment

    Martin P

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • So we are mooting to generate traffic, Norwich people who could have the same development behind City Hall, one of the greatest eyesores there are in Norwich, will have to get in a car to drive out into Broadland for a concert. Sadly only for 4500 and no alternative uses? Norwich needs a hall that can hold sporting events as well as concerts a multi purpose hall. This is too small and unsustainable, public transport to the business park is virtually nil, not a good idea. I would not go as I have no means of getting back home, a venue for car drivers.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • This is exciting but I would prefer to see something done with St Andrews Hall or build it on the river down King St. City centre not blasted heath.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Seems like a good idea to me. The location would be accessible easily and would hopefully cater for the larger bands which Norwich always fails to attract on tour.

    Report this comment

    Odget

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • A Tram system, we struggle to get funding for the A11 and A47 let alone a tram system. Hasn't this idea come around before? Venues being suggest at the Showground or at the back of Carrow Road. The Brighton Centre is in a prime location on the seafront and easy to get to, Broadland Business park is out of the city. What impact would this also have on other music venues in the city. The Waterfront, UEA LCR, Open, The Garage, Theatre Royal even?

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • It is time Norwich had its very own Music Venue, although the Capacity is a little on the Lowside, so will not really cater for bigger Bands or Comedians. Make it 15,000 then it could be a real asset to Norwich and Norfolk. But realistically 4500 is about right cause of the current state of the Road infrastructure and public transport in General. Maybe there could be a Tram system from Norwich Bus Station, up through Prince Of Wales Road, through Riverside then Circle back out of the City Towards the Broadland Business Park. This would then allow people to visit the venue and get home quickly.

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • From the Oxford English Dictionary : ....mooted....verb...." Raise (a question or topic) for discussion; suggest (an idea or possibility): e.g. the scheme was first mooted last October ". So correct use of the word mooted then.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • "mooted"? the headline writer doesn't seem to understand the meaning of this word.

    Report this comment

    chamberlain

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Latest from the EDP

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up