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Co-op Live makes first senior hires

Co-op Live, the under-construction arena in Manchester, UK, has announced that its first three senior hires are women, as Oak View Group look to assemble an outstanding and diverse team to deliver the venue.

Co-op Live, which will become the UK’s biggest arena when it opens in Manchester in 2023, will be the country’s first purpose-driven and most socially responsible venue. The venue will embody the shared vision of OVG and naming rights partner, the Co-operative Group, with sustainability and renewable energy built into the design, as well as a commitment to deliver at least £1million annually for good causes once opened.

As excitement builds among fans and artists about the scheduled return of live entertainment this summer, and OVG’s construction contractors start fully on site in springtime, Co-op Live is proud to announce the appointment of three women with extensive live music, sports, and entertainment experience to key positions at the venue.

Sara Tomkins has been appointed as Marketing and CSR Director at Co-op Live, bringing over 20 years of Manchester community engagement work and global brand-building experience to the team. Sara’s previous experience includes stints as Chief Executive of GreaterSport, Destination Director for Marketing Manchester and Assistant Chief Executive for Marketing, Communications and Customer Services at Manchester City Council.

Katie Musham has over 15-years’ experience in the live music, entertainment, and sport venue industries in the UK and Australia, previously holding senior programming, marketing, and partnership roles at iconic venues such as Wembley Arena, The O2, Perth Arena and Sydney’s SCG. Katie joins as Head of Partnerships, Co-op Live and will be responsible for over-delivering on the Co-op partnership, as well as future sponsor partnerships.

Finally, Co-op Live’s new Sales Director, Becci Thomson, previously led sales for special events at London’s O2.

From April 1st, Becci will lead the team marketing over £12 million of premium hospitality inventory at Co-op Live. OVG are already on the lookout for other talented individuals to join the premium sales team at Co-op Live’s new sales HQ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter from May.

Jessica Koravos, Co-Chairperson, OVG International, said:

In Co-op Live we want to deliver a venue that brings the best possible experiences for fans and artists, while also making a positive impact on the local community and the planet around us.

Our initial senior hires reflect our ambition to assemble an industry-leading team at Co-op Live and also demonstrate OVG’s plans to appoint talented women to key senior positions across the group as part of OVG’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Ann Jackson, Chief People and Culture Officer, OVG, said:

At OVG, we’re building exceptional teams at all of our venues around the world. I’m delighted to see three outstanding women join the Co-op Live team as our first recruits, and look forward to them helping deliver a new kind of arena that has diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability at its heart.

Over the three-year construction phase, Co-op Live is expected to create 3,350 jobs on sites. This will be followed by a further 1,000 once the venue opens in late 2023.