The owner of newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City has joined former One Direction singer Harry Styles by investing in the city’s new Co-op Live arena.
City Football Group (CFG) has become the equal joint venture partner of Oak View Group (OVG) and an investor in Co-op Live, alongside Harry Styles, who has a minority stake in the venue, BusinessLive reports.
The news comes after the Co-op Live arena announced it is set to create 1,000 more jobs once fully operational – as construction started on the 23,500-seater venue earlier this month.
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.
The new £350m site, set to be the UK’s biggest entertainment arena, is hoped to “kickstart” a wave of economic activity and job creation across the region.
The project is being built by Salford-based BAM, which has revealed that almost £150m of the construction orders have already been placed with local firms.
OVG, the developer, said that at its peak, Co-op Live’s construction site will see 400 people working on it daily.
BAM estimated that more than 2,000 people will work on the site over its three-year construction phase, comprising the majority of the 3,350 total jobs the project will support from now to 2023.
Tim Leiweke, co-founder and CEO of OVG, said: “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.
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“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, added: “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.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester council, said: “This world-beating new arena will be an incredible asset for Manchester which will make a powerful contribution to the city’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As well as adding to the cultural life of the city, as a major visitor destination it will create and support jobs and give renewed momentum to the ongoing regeneration of East Manchester, opening up fresh opportunities for residents.
“This latest investment by City Football Group is a statement of confidence in, and commitment to, Manchester.”