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New Manchester arena named Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG) and the Co-op are joining forces to develop the UK’s biggest and most exciting new arena in Manchester.

The arena, named Co-op Live, will be located on the Etihad campus in Manchester and continues the regeneration of the Eastlands area started by the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Co-op Live will be one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues. Plans for the arena were given the green light by Manchester City Council on 24 September.

Manchester was chosen as the location for OVG’s first international arena because of its iconic music culture and history as a live entertainment destination, which is why the arena was designed specifically with music at the forefront, unlike almost all other large arenas.

Co-op Live will re-establish Manchester as one of the globe’s most important live music destinations as well as delivering new events to the city, including awards shows, international sporting events and tournaments, family entertainment shows and emerging formats such as Esports.

The move will create 3,350 constructions jobs, starting from November this year, and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion of the venue.

Member-owned Co-op, which is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK, has become a significant presence within the UK’s music scene, with pop-up shops at festivals such as Glastonbury, and is synonymous with Manchester, opening its first offices there in 1863. This project will see it playing a vital role in the continued development of its home city to showcase the power of co-operation and community and its vision to co-operate for a fairer world.

Around £1 million a year will go to good causes across the UK – distributed by the Co-op Foundation – and the arena will be one of the most sustainable and socially responsible buildings of its type in Europe. It will be at the forefront of Manchester’s zero carbon agenda and help to tackle food poverty via a zero-food waste initiative.

Steve Murrells, Group CEO, Co-op, said:

Co-op is set up with a clear goal to serve the interests of its members and invest for the long-term. The entertainment arena brings to life the co-operative difference and our vision to co-operate for a fairer world, from its sustainable construction, support for communities, zero food waste and member only exclusive benefits. It will not only enthral audiences, but every time people watch a live act they’ll be doing good in local communities across the UK.

Tim Leiweke, chief executive officer, Oak View Group, said:

We’re delighted with this partnership and join together with the Co-op team to build the new world-class arena that Manchester deserves. Our shared vision with Co-op is what makes this partnership so special.

Our partnership goes way beyond a normal naming rights agreement. The shared values will help define the ethos of the venue, including bold commitments on sustainability and community. I’ve said from the beginning of this project that this arena will be of Manchester, for Manchester and by Manchester, and this partnership with one of the city’s most iconic brands is a critical part of that. We can’t wait to work together to bring amazing live event experiences, in one of the world’s best arenas, to Manchester.