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CFG partners Oak View Group in Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG) has confirmed that City Football Group (CFG) has become OVG’s equal joint venture partner and investor in Co-op Live in Manchester.

Singer Harry Styles has taken a minority stake in the pioneering venue.

Together, OVG and CFG, owner of Manchester City FC, will deliver one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable venues that pushes the boundaries of live entertainment experiences and advances the Etihad Campus as an entertainment and leisure destination that makes Manchester an even more attractive city for people from the UK and around the world to visit, CFG said.

Co-op Live plays a pivotal role in CFG’s ambitions to continue developing the Etihad Campus as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination that is a significant source of community, employment and economic opportunity for Manchester.

The new joint venture builds on the 2019 pre-planning collaboration that saw CFG, as lead developer of the Etihad Campus, support OVG’s feasibility studies and community consultations in advance of September 2020 planning approval.

Tim Leiweke, Co-Founder and CEO, OVG, commented:

We are thrilled that CFG has chosen to invest in Co-op Live, and we can’t think of a better partner for this project. We are creating one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester. This venue will push the boundaries of live entertainment and be a significant source of opportunity for the city. We also know that this is precisely the right time to make such a substantial financial investment in Manchester, helping it build back from the terrible impact of COVID-19.

The Etihad Campus was always a clear choice due to its proximity to the city centre and the opportunity to be part of a growing visitor destination with excellent existing transport links. With CFG as a JV partner, we can push the boundaries on how Co-op Live delivers for artists, every single fan, the UK’s music industry and the city by creating a magical intersection of sports, community and entertainment that will be the envy of the world.

Marty Edelman, board director at City Football Group, commented:

Co-op Live unlocks the potential for the Etihad Campus to grow as an entertainment destination that creates more reasons for the nation and world to visit Manchester.

The Chairman and the Board’s priority has always been to ensure Co-op Live seamlessly integrates with the Campus and compliments Manchester’s city centre offer. As a joint venture partner and investor, we will ensure the Co-op Live becomes part of the fabric of East Manchester and delivers the fullest community and economic impact as Manchester, and the wider region builds back from COVID.

Since 2008, CFG has overseen over £700m of public investment into the Etihad Campus and East Manchester, supporting approximately 14,000 jobs.

Co-op Live is now in the main construction phase, with £150 million of orders already placed with local firms. The project is supporting 3,350 jobs during construction and a further 1,000 once the venue opens.

Co-op Live has already made substantial commitments to the city and its residents through local opportunities, a commitment to the Manchester Living Wage and improvements in transport and local infrastructure. This includes a new controlled parking zone to protect resident parking, an additional 240 covered cycle spaces, improved walking routes into the city centre and green spaces to enhance the area on event and non-event days for locals, visitors and wildlife.