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Licence granted for Manchester’s Co-op Live

IQ Magazine | March 1, 2024

Oak View Group’s Co-op Live venue is set to open next month as planned after being granted a licence by Manchester City Council, despite various objections.

The 23,500-cap development, which is a joint venture with City Football Group, will become the UK’s largest arena when it launches at Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium, in April.

The council approved the licensing application today following a two-day hearing at Manchester Town Hall last week.

“We are delighted that Manchester City Council’s licensing sub-committee has today voted to approve our application for a premises licence,” says Co-op Live executive director and general manager Gary Roden. “We are grateful to local councillors and residents for their engagement during the process and will remain committed to being the best possible neighbour to the local community up to opening and beyond.

“Manchester deserves the best, and with the opening of Co-op Live just weeks away we’re excited to begin this new chapter in the city’s enviable cultural story.

“This £365 million investment will transform the fan experience of live entertainment, bring international superstars to Manchester”

“This £365 million investment will transform the fan experience of live entertainment, bring international superstars to Manchester, set a new benchmark for large arenas around the world and deliver a significant economic boost to the entire North West region.”

The bid had been subject to multiple objections, including from ASM Global, operator of Manchester’s longstanding 23,000-cap AO Arena, as well as 32 residents, two councillors, the council’s public health team and the Music Venue Trust, which argued the venue’s “ancillary spaces” could take trade off smaller businesses if they were allowed to stay open later.

ASM had argued that Co-op Live should close by midnight at the latest, and not be given the ability to open 24/7, 25 times a year, as requested. But OVG alleged the objections were “competition based”.

It was announced yesterday (29 February) that the 2024 MTV EMAs will be held at the new purpose-built live entertainment arena on 10 November.

Stand-up comedian Peter Kay will open the venue with his current record-breaking tour on 23 April, with other acts set to perform over the coming months including Pearl Jam, Take That, Liam Gallagher, Olivia Rodrigo, The Killers, Eagles, Kings of Leon, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake.


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