Bird’s eye view of Manchester’s new arena Co-op Live as bosses say it is on track to open in December next year


Incredible aerial footage shows the new ‘world class’ arena next to the Etihad Stadium starting to take shape.

With a capacity of 23,500, Co-op Live, which is now under construction, is set to become the biggest indoor arena in Britain.

Planning permission for the new eco-friendly facility on the banks of the Ashton Canal in east Manchester was granted in September 2020 with work beginning in December that year.

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And the dramatic new footage shot from a drone high above the sprawling site between Joe Mercer Way and Alan Turing Way shows just how much progress has been made on the £350 million project with some of the towering core structures of the building now in place.

The Oak View Group, the US firm behind it, has appointed Salford-based BAM Construct UK to build the arena.

Currently, over 100 staff and 150 operatives are based at this site, where the equivalent of 60 Olympic swimming pools has been excavated to clear the land for the building.

All the piling on the site is also now complete, with over 1,700 foundation piles,, totaling more than 30 miles in length.

How the new arena will look

The steelwork has now commenced with over 10,000 tonnes, sourced from a firm in Bolton, to be installed to form the structure of the building.

In total 3,000 jobs will be created during the three-year construction phase with a further 1,000 once it opens.

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The arena, in which pop star Harry Styles and Manchester City’s owners the City Football Group are investors, is due to be completed in December 2023.

OVG say they hope to attract the biggest events including from live music to sports events, comedy gigs to award shows and family entertainment.

Bosses are already in talks with acts about being the first to play at Co-op Live

It will also be the UK’s most sustainable area it is claimed.

The site will have no gas supply with electricity being used for everything from air-source heat pumps for heating and hot water, to cooling and catering.

Rooftop solar panels will also be used to power daily activity with green electricity sourced from the grid where it is needed for events.


A large proportion of the suites within the arena have already sold with all expected to be sold by March OVG say.

The MEN understands bosses are also now in talks with acts about being the first to peform at the arena with the first wave of big-name gigs to be announced this summer.

Mark Donnelly, chief operating officer of Co-op Live said: “We’re delighted with the progress made in bringing Co-op Live to the Etihad Campus since beginning construction last year and we are delivering on our promises around investment, job creation, and enabling this great city to host the world’s best events.

“It’s going to be really exciting as we countdown to the opening next year, so keep your eyes and ears to the ground as we will be announcing some of the best acts on the planet to play on the ultimate stage that is Co-op Live , Manchester.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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