25 January 2024

Co-op Live – A 2024 Arena with Attitude

Mean, green and purpose-built for serious music fans

The Co-op is a place we usually associate with going to see the vegetable aisle, not Liam Gallagher. But that’s all about to change, because in April, Co-op Live is opening its doors as Manchester’s brand spanking new arena with attitude for 2024 and beyond.

The Co-operative Group developed the scheme in partnership with the Oak View Group, to create a venue featuring the UK’s biggest stage, and the capacity to host a whopping 23,500 ticket holders.

The arena also showcases clever design such as its low ceiling and expansive floor. This roomy yet intimate ‘audience bowl’ brings the artist closer to their fans, the number one priority on a meticulously crafted stage tour.

There are also – count ‘em! – 32 bars and restaurants and 12 lounges on offer, so nobody’s going to be twiddling their thumbs for something to do. The setting is another brilliant example of taking advantage of local history and landscape, by making use of Manchester’s canals to create a waterside terrace. And that’s not all – its built environment credentials are very, very planet-friendly.


Megastar magnet

All this has ensured that the Co-op Live’s events list is a star studded queue of music icons including Eric Clapton, Liam Gallagher, The Eagles and Take That, as well as newer kids on the block like Olivia Rodrigo and Niall Horan. The versatility of the arena has also come to the attention of stand-up comedians, and Jason Manford has already booked it for 2025. It’s bound to be a matter of time before other big names follow. Additionally, there’s even scope to hold sporting events there.

So, apart from a boundary breaking layout, what else does Co-op Live have in its favour?


Planet-friendly sustainability

Well, first off, it’s heavy on sustainability. During construction the developers took the opportunity to use responsibly and locally sourced recycled materials, which also cut down pollution from transportation.

Added to this is that thoughtful design means that the UK’s largest music venue is the most planet friendly arena currently standing in our fair isles. Using 100% electric power, zero waste to landfill, and while collecting and reusing rainwater, the site is also home to numerous green spaces and fosters biodiversity.


Natural beauty at its beating heart

This has improved the canalside area, and created a pedestrian environment where visitors can walk, sit and relax whether attending an event or not. These spaces focus on supporting local vegetation and loca, including a variety of tree species and wild flowers. This fledgling ecosystem is protected by the focus on a pedestrian environment, and is well-served by a network of sustainable and public transport.

This is enhanced further by cycling routes and hundreds of covered spaces for parking this increasingly popular form of transport. And this isn’t just lip-service, as Co-op Live is proactively and enthusiastically promoting the use of sustainable travel at the point of ticket purchase.


Charitable warrior for social equality

The cherry on the cake to all this is that Co-op Live is remaining true to its social justice reputation by donating at least £1m a year to local and national charitable causes.

From planning and construction, to its debut as the UK’s new starring platform for megastar performers, Co-op Live is a striking example of the built environment’s new role as a sustainable industry.


Your turn to shine

If you have ideas of your own on how to utilise a meaner and greener arena like this for events, or if you’re inspired to design sustainable venues for future generations, then give us a call. mustard BE and XP recruit for jobs in the exhibition and built environment sectors to keep you awake at night. So give us a call, now! The number to dial is 0117 929 6060.

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