Local firms reap £150 million windfall
05 May 2021
Following extensive enabling works since the beginning of the year, construction of the UK’s largest entertainment arena in Manchester has started this week, kickstarting a wave of economic activity and job creation across Greater Manchester. Co-op Live is being built by Salford-based BAM construction, who have revealed that almost £150m of the construction orders have already been placed with local firms. OVG, the developer, is investing over £365 million to create one of the best and most sustainable live entertainment arenas in Europe. The construction project is one of the biggest to commence nationally since the onset of Covid and will provide a much-needed boost for the local construction industry at a critical time for economic recovery after the pandemic.
At its peak, Co-op Live’s construction site will see some 400 people working on it daily. BAM estimates that more than 2,000 people will work on the site over its three-year construction phase, comprising the majority of the 3,350 total jobs the project will support from now to opening. OVG have forecast that Co-op Live will create a further 1,000 jobs when operational. The team behind Co-op Live are committed to local procurement, and a range of businesses across Greater Manchester and the wider North West region are being used to help create the venue, with a dozen firms from the region already engaged in the project. 9,000 tons of steelwork will be provided from a depot in Bolton, while a huge order for mechanical and electrical works has been placed with a firm based on Altrincham Road in Manchester, SES. The striking façade and roof are being delivered by a firm in Cheadle. Other services that will be provided by local companies include concrete, grouting, and lifts, plus smaller contracts for hoardings, welfare, catering, and security.
An impressive apprenticeships programme is set to be announced as the construction programme accelerates. Inclusion and diversity are embedded into BAM’s workforce goals, around gender parity, and diversity (as an example at least 15% of employees from ethnic minority backgrounds), at least 5% of employees who identify as LGBTQ+ and employees who live with disabilities are appropriately supported.
Tim Leiweke, Chief Executive OVG, said: “The beginning of the construction of Co-op Live is an exciting step in our plans to deliver one of Europe’s best and most sustainable arenas for Manchester.
“Co-op Live is an arena by Manchester, for Manchester, and of Manchester. Since revealing our plans last year, we have remained committed to maximising the benefits it brings to the city and the whole North West. Today’s milestone of £150m in orders for local firms is a proud moment for the project and will help support local jobs and ensure the positive impact of our investment is being felt already.”
Robert Doherty, Operations Director for SES (Engineering Services) Strategic Projects, which is delivering the full Mechanical and Electrical works for the scheme said: “As a local contractor our team mainly live and work in and around Manchester and this project has a real buzz about it. It has got everyone here excited and it is terrific for us to be involved. We are engaging with our own supply chain ensuring that packages are delivered by companies from the Manchester area. We will have over 100 people working on this project, creating opportunities for local people to be involved.”
Work has started, with millions of pounds of bulk excavation and remediation work underway that will provide work for the region’s hauliers and plant companies.
Ian Fleming, the Director of BAM Construction in the North West, said: “The highly digital way we work allows us to achieve the sustainability demanded by the most ambitious clients in the world and it attracts young entrants to our profession like Arooj Ali. Working smarter means working safer for those 2000 people that will cross our boundary and using technology and techniques like off-site manufacturing.
“We rely on the quality of our supply chain here in the North West and how well we work with them to integrate all these elements together. Greater Manchester has got the talent and resources we need, and it means BAM’s work here for this northern landmark will boost the local economy and bring big social benefits for people living here, all of which is a source of great pride to me.”
BAM’s first apprentice on site is Arooj Ali, a construction trainee apprentice, said: “I’m eager to be working with BAM on this incredible project and aim to help inspire other young people to enter the industry. I would like to especially encourage ethnic minorities to join, even if they haven’t previously considered doing so. Construction is forever evolving, and we are always faced with new, exciting challenges where no two days are the same.
“Living in the Preston area, people are always talking about the new arena, and hearing about a project that I’ve played a part in creating, has been a brilliant way to continue my career in the construction industry. We’re all excited about the return of live music and events, so being able to hopefully attend these in a new, state of the art venue will be a really rewarding experience!”
Ben Tipple, Co-op Live - firstname.lastname@example.org
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 £350m 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.
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).
BAM Construction North West is behind many iconic structures for the region, such as the new Manchester City Football Academy, the Co-operative Group’s headquarters, One Angel Square, and the National Graphene Institute, among others. For over 150 years the Royal BAM Group, of which it is part, has been a leader in innovation such as 3D printing and digital construction, and in collaborative construction to achieve highly sustainable structures based on the needs of the people who use them. Look us up on www.bam.co.uk.