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Co-op Live will become the UK’s largest arena

Populous is designing the project.

October 20, 2020 |
Co-op Live Arena in Manchester

Renderings courtesy Populous

Located on the Etihad Campus in Manchester, Co-op Live will be the largest arena in the UK. With a maximum capacity of 23,500, the arena is designed to become one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues. The project was given the green light by Manchester City Council on Sept. 24.

Unlike almost all other large arenas, Co-op Live was designed specifically with music at the forefront. The arena is meant to re-establish Manchester as one of the world’s most important live music destinations as well as deliver new events to the city, including awards shows, international sporting events and tournaments, family entertainment shows, and Esports.


Co-op Live arena


The transformer-like bowl will bring fans closer to the stage than any comparable venue in Europe. Bespoke standing spaces will be included throughout the venue, as opposed to only on the arena floor. The arena can also be reconfigured for a range of events and opportunities to support a year-round event program.


Co-op Live aerial


Co-op live exterior spaces

LED’s will be integrated into the facade to create a seamless aesthetic between event and non-event modes, day and night. Next to the arena will be a new canal-side space with food and drink offerings available for the public on event days and non-event days alike. Additionally, the hard- and soft-landscaped routes to the venue will help to create an exciting approach experience for audiences and the local community.

Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and low carbon technologies are integral to the arena’s design. Construction of the arena is expected to begin in November with completion slated for 2023. OVG is the project’s developer.


Co-op Live interior space


Co-op Live interior space on balcony


Co-op Live bar space


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