By Lucy Chambers, Assistant Partnerships Manager 

It’s officially one year since Co-op Live construction began and it’s so exciting to see the venue starting to take shape.  

If you’re not clued up on all things Co-op Live yet, the venue will be one of the world’s most sustainable and socially responsible venues. With community and co-operation at its heart, the project will create 3,350 constructions jobs; and when it’s up and running, over £1m of Co-op Live’s yearly profits will be also distributed to good causes in community across the UK by the Co-op Foundation. So, wherever you live, and whatever your favourite artist, you’ll be helping the venue to do good however you get involved. 

Co-op Live will be at the forefront of sustainability too, creating improvements to the canal side of the venue to create peaceful areas for walking, sitting and relaxing on both event and non-event days. Diverse vegetation and local wildlife, including a variety of trees and wildflowers, will enhance the natural diversity of the area and create much-needed green space around the venue. You can watch more about Co-op Live’s commitment to sustainability in this video.  

Co-op Live will also champion our award-winning products sourced using British meat, Fairtrade ingredients and local suppliers, while tackling food poverty with a zero-food waste scheme.  

What’s more, we’ll be able to offer all our colleagues and members a whole host of exclusive benefits, including pre-sale tickets up to seven days before general release, great deals on food and drink and the chance to win free tickets. Not to mention priority entry-access to the venue! 

So, has the stage been built yet? 

The principal contractor for the project, BAM, have been working tirelessly since construction began and the venue’s on track for opening at the end of 2023. Since starting the project, £150 million in orders have been placed with suppliers across the North West, boosting local employment and the economy in the wake of the pandemic. 

There’s currently up to 400 people working on-site daily and, over the three-year construction period, the project will create over 3,350 full-time jobs. Co-op Live’s commitment to local procurement is also supporting thousands of jobs throughout the supply chain in the North West. 

So far, enough earth to fill 53 Olympic swimming pools has been removed from the site, and if the concrete columns that’ll be used to build the arena were stacked on top of each other, they’d reach the International Space Station! 

In December, 9000 tonnes of locally sourced steel will be delivered to site from one of the many local suppliers in Bolton. Following this, we’ll see the venue rise up onto the East Manchester skyline in the early part of next year. 

You can see our construction developments for yourself in this short video.

Co-op Live in the community 

Co-op Live is providing opportunity in our communities with many apprentices currently working on site. Our apprentices are in a range of role includes quantity surveyors and technical engineers, as well as manual trades such as mechanics, plumbing and electrical work. Later this year we hope to confirm our first Co-op Live apprentice funded through our levy, and this is just the start of opportunities for young people that we’re committed to creating through this fantastic venue.  

We’re also reaching out to communities by hosting visits for our local academies. Back in October, Swinton Academy were the first to tour the venue. The students learnt all about the different jobs that’ll be available through Co-op Live, as well as seeing the construction developments and learning more about the project itself. In total, we’ll be hosting 300 students at the venue to learn about the opportunities available in construction.  

Co-op Live Mini Model   

Last month, a mini model of Co-op Live was unveiled in the atrium at Angel Square. The model is a brilliant way to see how the venue will come to life over the next two years. It’s accompanied by a media screen packed with information about the project, live updates and a sizzle video too. So, if you’re in Angel Square, why not check it out for yourself.  

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. This is so great to hear about, Thank You! For those of us a fair distance from the support centre, could someone please take a video of the mini model, so that we can all enjoy it?

    • Hi Geraldine, great to see that you’re interested in the Co-op Live model! We actually have a video of the model being made which you can watch here –

      I hope you like it.

  2. This is great, thanks for updating us on the progress. Can’t wait to visit once it’s up and running!

  3. Our Academy students have thoroughly enjoyed their visits to the site, finding it both informative and educational, in particular with regard to future careers. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

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