Plans for a new arena in East Manchester have been given the go ahead by Manchester City Council’s planning committee. A 15-year naming rights deal with consumer co-operative Co-op will see it branded Co-op Live.
A new 23,500 capacity arena in the Etihad Campus, the area mostly owned by Manchester City Football Club and containing its stadium, has been proposed by Oak View Group (OVG).
Upon completion, Co-op Live will be the largest indoor arena in the UK, overtaking Manchester Arena which has a capacity of 21,000.
Plans for the new venue were submitted in March, and construction is expected to start in November, with opening currently scheduled for 2023. The final plans were shaped by feedback from the community as well as local companies, MPs and councillors.
As part of the planning application, OVG commissioned independent research that indicated the arena will drive up to £1.5bn extra activity in the city’s economy. Further research showed that Manchester’s live entertainment market has the potential for an extra 2.05million visitors by 2035.
Tim Leiweke, OVG’s co-founder and chief executive, said: “We’re delighted that Manchester City Council has given our proposals the go-ahead, and we can’t wait to get started, bringing a £350million private investment, creating thousands of jobs, and delivering one of the world’s best arenas to this amazing city”.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the community for taking the time to listen to what we had to say and providing feedback that ensured this arena is of Manchester, for Manchester and by Manchester.”
Councillor Pat Karney, City Centre Spokesperson, said: “Today’s decision is about confidence in our city, Greater Manchester and the North West. It is about new employment and training opportunities for thousands across East Manchester and beyond at a time when they are badly needed. The city centre, our communities and the wider city will be strengthened by our newest neighbour – Oak View Group Manchester. This is the next chapter in East Manchester’s regeneration.”