Bristol Street Motors joins Co-op Live as founding partner

06 December 2021

Co-op Live, the UK’s biggest arena opening in Manchester, today announces that Bristol Street Motors has joined as a Founding Partner. Bristol Street Motors is the latest first class brand to become a Founding Partner, joining a group led by Co-op as the Naming Rights Partner, in the project to create a globally renowned entertainment experience.

The partnership will see Bristol Street Motors as the Official Motor Retailer and auto partner for the venue, with exclusive naming rights to a 4,000-capacity space inside Co-op Live now known as ‘The Street’. This exciting space, which will have a 22m long bar and vibrant food market, will act as the heartbeat of the venue with fans able to meet before and after the show.

As well as hosting key parts of Co-op Live’s unique food and beverage offering, The Street will be the largest point of entry to Co-op Live and is designed to become a destination in its own right. It will serve as a focal point for the local community and will be able to host a wide variety of events beyond those hosted in the main bowl. Bristol Street Motors will have branding and marketing rights in The Street, including being able to showcase vehicles and use the space for its own events.

The partnership is designed to create brand awareness for Bristol Street Motors, as Co-op Live will collaborate with the brand to drive digital engagement, including with marketing through the venue website, a pioneering app, external LED screens, and social channels. The partnership will also see Bristol Street Motors supporting Co-op Live’s charitable foundation with an annual donation.

Bristol Street Motors have agreed to provide a number of co-branded electric vehicles for use by artists, guests, and executive staff to serve the venue’s transportation needs sustainably. The arena itself will use electricity for everything from air-source heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water through to cooling and catering, and so the EVs supplied by Bristol Street Motors will work well as a continuation of Co-op Live’s vision.

Today’s announcement comes hot on the heels of several landmark partnership announcements, led by Co-op as the Naming Rights Partner. In October this year, it was revealed that Diageo will be the official drinks partner, with GUINNESS becoming the venue’s Official Beer Partner and Diageo’s full portfolio of spirits as Co-op Live’s Official Drinks partners. The venue is backed by investors, Oak View Group, City Football Group and international superstar Harry Styles.

Jessica Koravos, Co-Chair, OVG International, said: “We’ve already assembled a really impressive team of partners, with Bristol Street Motors the latest to join. The project is gaining real momentum and I’m looking forward to working together with all our partners to create a truly global venue in Manchester.”

Tommy Barnett, Commercial Director, OVG International, said: “It’s brilliant to have Bristol Street Motors on board as a Founding Partner. From day one, we connected on a vision for this unique partnership centred around The Street which will be buzzing and alive with people having an amazing time.”

Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Bristol Street Motors, said: “As the nation’s first all-electric arena, we’re thrilled that Bristol Street Motors is a Founding Partner of Co-op Live, especially as the electric vehicle market continues to grow.

“It’s fantastic that the electric vehicles we’ll be supplying will help facilitate the arena’s sustainable day-to-day activity, working towards building a planet-friendly venue as well as one capable of hosting the world’s best events.

“This extensive partnership allows Bristol Street Motors to work with the arena and its sustainability vision, particularly as we move towards the EV era and providing our future customers with the very best expertise, advice and support when they come to purchase one.”

Liz Cope, Chief Marketing Officer of Bristol Street Motors, said: “Becoming a Founding Partner of the UK’s biggest and most exciting entertainment arena was a thrilling opportunity for us.

“From the earliest days of driving, people have had music in their cars and cars have inspired so many great songs. There’s an amazing synergy that already exists between music and the cars we sell, and so we’re incredibly excited to see the space we create together.

“Within an arena that will deliver a world class experience, The Street will be an inviting, fun and interactive place to meet up, aligning exactly with what we strive to provide customers within our dealerships across the country. From showcasing some amazing cars to creating many exciting areas for the public to enjoy, we’re very excited to meet at The Street and hope others will be too.”

About Co-op Live

Oak View Group (OVG), City Football Group (CFG), Harry Styles, and Co-op are joining forces to create Co-op Live, the biggest and best arena in the UK. Based in Manchester, the project is injecting £365m of private investment into the North West.

Co-op Live will be one of the world’s premier music and entertainment venues, rivalling New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Forum in LA and The O2 in London. World class, planet friendly and at the heart of the local community, Co-op Live will deliver one of the world’s most pioneering, sustainable, and socially responsible venues, delivering Co-op’s vision of a fairer world into the entertainment industry. The project will create 3,350 constructions jobs and 1,000 roles and apprenticeships on completion of the venue as well as giving over £1m back to national and local good causes.

Co-op Live will be located on the Etihad Campus, and will host live music, sport, comedy, award shows and family entertainment. Co-op Live’s smart ‘bowl’ design means it is big but intimate with cutting edge visual technology, incredible acoustics and 32 bars, restaurants, lounges and club spaces.

The construction project, the single-largest in the city, will give the regional economy a much-needed boost following the devastating impacts of the Covid pandemic and will boost the local economy by over £1.5bn over the next 20 years. From locally sourced construction materials to zero waste to landfill, solar panels and rainwater harvesting, Co-op Live will be doing more to use less and leave better. 


Ben Tipple, Co-op Live -

About Oak View Group

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across global offices (Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, and London).

About Bristol Street Motors

Bristol Street Motors began operation in the early 1900s with a single motor retail dealership in Birmingham, which still stands today. It is now part of Vertu Motors plc, the fifth largest automotive retailer group in the UK, with a combined network of 154 sales outlets across the UK. The Group also operates under the Vertu Motors and Macklin Motors brand names.

Vertu Motors plc was established in November 2006 with the strategy to consolidate the UK motor retail sector. It is intended that the Group will continue to acquire motor retail operations to grow a scaled dealership group. 

The Group’s acquisition strategy is supplemented by a focused organic growth strategy to drive operational efficiencies through its national dealership network. The Group currently operates 150 franchised sales outlets and 4 non-franchised sales operations from locations across the UK.

Vertu’s Mission Statement is to “deliver an outstanding customer motoring experience through honesty and trust”.