Co-op Live and Manchester City Football Group Unveil Plans To Transform 'Citylink' Walking Route

15 February 2024

Co-op Live and Manchester City Football Club are today announcing the submission of a planning application to Manchester City Council for the regeneration of a walking route between city centre neighbourhoods and the Etihad Campus.

Providing music and football fans with alternative travel options to and from the Etihad Campus is a central part of both the Co-op Live’s and the Club’s long-term approach to environmental sustainability.

The plans, which are subject to approval from Manchester City Council, will see a significant upgrade to the existing ‘CityLink’ walking route built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, between Holt Town tram stop and the Etihad Campus.

The walking route has been designed to create a vibrant pre-event experience with proposed features including interactive lighting installations, busking spots for performances by local musical talent, and pop-up food and drink stalls. Alongside this, stewards from Co-op Live and the Club will staff the route both before and after their respective events. The route will also be covered by enhanced CCTV.

In line with Co-op Live’s and Manchester City Football Club’s existing commitments to the wider regeneration of the local neighbourhood, an extensive clean-up of the walkway has already been undertaken with initial trimming of overgrown trees and shrubs completed, alongside improvements to directional signage.

Should the plans receive approval, initial creative visuals, together with artwork commissioned by Co-op Live utilising local artists, will be installed ahead of Co-op Live’s opening in April, with further football and music design themes to be phased in over time.

The improvements to the walking route will be delivered in conjunction with Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Co-op Live naming rights partner, Co-op.

Commenting on the plans to develop the walking route, Danny Wilson, Managing Director – Manchester City Operations, said:

“Ensuring that our fans and visitors have more options for sustainable travel to and from the Etihad Campus is incredibly important as we continue to introduce new entertainment experiences to our site, and welcome more people to a growing year-round destination.

At the same time, in line with our ongoing and long-term commitments to the development and regeneration of our local area, we know that the upgraded ‘CityLink’ will benefit members of our local community who will now have a cleaner, brighter and safer walking route to use day in and day out.”

Gary Roden, Executive Director and General Manager, Co-op Live, said:

“We are transforming the fan experience of live entertainment one step at a time. By investing in the regeneration of the walking route, we are providing a safe, and eco-friendly alternative to car travel and giving the local community a revitalised outdoor space that they can use all year round. This is everything we are about, and I am delighted this part of our vision is now becoming a reality.”