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OVG gets approval for Co-op Live arena

6 October 2020

OAK VIEW Group (OVG) has been given planning permission to build a 23,500-capacity arena in Manchester’s Etihad Campus, which will be named Co-op Live.

The £350 million venue, located next to Manchester City football club’s Etihad Stadium (cap. 63,000) in the Eastlands area of Manchester, will compete directly with the ASM Global-operated Manchester Arena (21,000).

ASM Global had called on city planners to thoroughly scrutinise the proposals, claiming the new arena would negatively impact trade for city centre leisure operators and hoteliers.

It has been claimed the council had a conflict of interest as it has a 20 per cent stake in the land where Co-op Live is due to be built.

The 15-year naming rights deal for the venue involves around £1m being  distributed to charities across the UK by the Co-op Foundation.

OVG said the arena would result in £1.5 billion of extra spending in the city and would potentially create 3,350 jobs during construction and more than 1,000 once opened.

Manchester City councillor Pat Karney said the decision was based on new employment and training opportunities for thousands “at a time when they are badly needed”.

Construction of the venue will begin in November, with events due to commence in 2023.

Co-op Food CEO Jo Whitfield says the deal will see exclusive and pre-sale tickets available for its members as well as discounts on food and beverage and priority entry-access to the venue.

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