Economic boost to local economy as construction starts at Co-op Live

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Construction of Manchester’s Co-op Live, the 23,500-capacity arena, has started this week and has already kickstarted a wave of economic activity and job creation across the region.

The construction of Co-op Live, situated on a site at the Etihad Campus, will bring a huge boost to Greater Manchester’s economy during a critical time for economic recovery after the pandemic.

Alongside direct jobs, the construction of the arena would help support thousands of jobs and hundreds of companies in the construction sector.

Co-op Live is being built by Salford-based BAM construction, which has revealed that almost £150m of the construction orders have already been placed with local firms.

OVG, the developer, is investing over £350m to create one of the most sustainable live entertainment arenas in Europe.

The construction project is one of the biggest to commence nationally since the onset of Covid.

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 2023.

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 apprenticeships programme with inclusion and diversity embedded within it, is set to be announced as the construction programme accelerates.

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: “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.”

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