Arc Ascending

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Arc Press Release

Plans unveiled for glass passenger cabin 69 metres above Bristol’s Harbour

• Bristol to host £13.5M tourist attraction
250,000 visitors projected a year
Unique way to view Bristol’s beautiful heritage landscape
Public consultation event to be held October 16 at We The Curious

Imagine looking down on Bristol’s historic harbourside through a glass cabin, as you slowly glide 69 metres high in the sky… welcome to Arc.

Bristol is set to become the first city in the world to host Arc – an elegant glass cabin suspended between two super-strong carbon fibre masts, that lifts 42 passengers into the sky and takes them on a magical 20-minute scenic flight.

Once inside the cabin passengers will be gently lifted as the masts pivot on a 3.2-metre diameter base in Millennium Square, (just the width of two BMW Minis, side-by-side), using highly-sophisticated technology designed by some of the UK’s leading engineers.

The 360˚ views of Bristol’s amazing historic sites will give a unique perspective with an accompanying pilot on-board to explain the City’s history and the importance of the heritage sites passengers will see.

We The Curious’ chief executive Donna Speed has welcomed the proposals: “Arc shows how when existing technology is reimagined and combined with ground-breaking engineering the results can be dramatic and inspiring. We were blown away by the designs and the potential to view our city in a new and truly unique way. We are delighted to host the consultation events in October to explore the possibilities for Bristol”.

Destination Bristol’s Chief Executive John Hirst, said: “Bristolians are rightly proud of their beautiful city with its remarkable engineering history. Visitors come from all over the world to see Bristol and its many attractions”.

“Arc will bring a new iconic landmark, something totally unique and a global first. This is great news for Bristol, it will really put our city in the international spotlight once again.”

Arc’s project manager Alice Ellis, said: “Bristol has a unique maritime and engineering legacy… Arc will tell that story in a new and really exciting way which showcases Bristol’s unique history and reputation for innovation.”

Arc Bristol is holding a public consultation and exhibition of its proposals, before submitting a planning application to Bristol City Council.

Arc Bristol expects to open in Spring 2024.

The proposals will be on display at We The Curious, on Wednesday October 16, from 2pm to 8pm. Everyone is welcome to view the plans and provide their feedback as part of the public consultation before a planning application is submitted later this year. Details will also be on Arc’s website where anyone can also provide their feedback.

Arc notes for Editors

Arc Bristol is expected to attract 250,000 paying visitors a year.

According to the official Government data – from the Office of National Statistics - there were more than 14 million visitor trips to Bristol in 2017. Many visitors come to see the existing key harbourside attractions like We The Curious, SS Great Britain and M Shed. Arc will bring more visitors – and increase overall tourism spending.

Arc is estimated to generate an estimated £8.3m towards Bristol’s tourism market every year, £5m of which will be new revenue, supporting 118 high-quality jobs, especially pilots and engineers, marketing, curation and creative roles.

Arc is the brainchild of local award-winning architect Nick Stubbs, who wanted people to be able to see beautiful places from above, where their origins and history unfold in unexpected ways.

Nick also wanted to create something that did not sit permanently in the skyline, but which would instead rise and fall, leaving the cityscape largely unchanged.

Academics from world-class universities in Bath and Southampton are collaborating with marine structure experts at Argo Engineering Solutions to assess and design Arc’s complex mechanisms.

These studies have included computer-simulated motion and wind tunnel modelling to understand how Arc will perform and move under all conditions.

One of the fabulous modern technologies Arc will use is carbon fibre for its masts … the same as Boeing Dreamliner wings and the masts on large complex sailing yachts like Black Pearl.

Carbon fibre’s incredible strength and lightness is the perfect material for the two beautifully elegant, slender masts which will carry the glass cabin.

Arc will be fully solar powered, with panels on the roof of its departures lounge. Energy will be stored in yacht batteries, which will also recharge as the electric motors slow down – just like electric cars.

The business plan has been scrutinised and endorsed by economists at KPMG. The £13.5M funding has been secured entirely from private investment.

Lloyds Register, which certifies marine design the world over, will certify Arc to the UK’s Health & Safety Executive’s safety standards.

Once Arc Bristol is fully established, Arc will seek other global cities to host this remarkable attraction … but Bristol will have it first.

More details of Arc Bristol can be found at


For further information contact Andrew Smith or Will Morgan at Conversation PR
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0)7450 194116
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0)7717 492911

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