North West business briefs: Co-op Live; Marketing Lancashire; Elevate; Protos; PACC

Co-op Live, the new 23,500 capacity £350m entertainment venue opening in Manchester, has announced that Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, will be the official drinks partner when it opens in 2023. Diageo is the latest world leading brand to join the growing list of partners, led by Co-op as the naming rights partner, in the project to create a globally renowned entertainment experience.

The partnership will see Guinness become the venue’s official beer partner and Diageo’s full portfolio of spirits including the world famous Johnnie Walker scotch, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and Captain Morgan rum as Co-op Live’s official drinks partners.

Diageo’s partnership with Co-op Live means its brands will be central to the customer experience that Co-op Live will create every night of its expected 120+ events a year. The immersive customer experience delivered through the partnership will be supported by an array of activations throughout the venue including on digital platforms and in innovative approaches to customer experience like shortest queue alerts and click-and-collect functionality.

Co-op Live is backed by investors Oak View Group, City Football Group and international superstar Harry Styles, and will be one of the most socially responsible and sustainable venues in Europe when it opens.

Sam Piccione III, president, OVG international, said: “It was key for us to find a partner in this important category who would work with us to further deliver on making Co-op Live an entertainment and lifestyle destination and in Diageo we found the perfect company. The team at Diageo is best in class when it comes to creating experiences and we can’t wait for our fans to enjoy an ice-cold Guinness, iconic spirit, or draught cocktail at their favourite concert.”

Anita Robinson, marketing director, Diageo Great Britain, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Co-op Live to be the official drinks and responsible drinking partner for what is set to be the UK’s biggest arena. This is the first sponsorship we have undertaken in Great Britain where our full portfolio of drinks is part of the offer and we look forward to bringing our brands to life through experiences and activations for all occasions, from pre-show drinks to late night celebrations.”


Tony Attard

Businessman, Tony Attard, founder and group chief executive of Burnley-based Panaz, is stepping down from his role as chair of Marketing Lancashire after almost six years, a period in which the organisation also celebrated his appointment as Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire, followed by High Sheriff of Lancashire in 2018, the year he was also named Lancastrian of the Year at the BIBAs.

Taking up his role as chair of marketing Lancashire on December 1, 2015, Tony said he was looking forward to sharing Lancashire’s success story more widely, to attract more business and new investment into the county. Over the past six years he has worked tirelessly to that end, and to ensure that the messages cascading through marketing activities were consistent, from 2018 in successful partnership with his appointed chief executive, Rachel McQueen.

Rachel said: “Tony has been a fantastic advocate for both Marketing Lancashire as an organisation and for Lancashire as a place. He has led the board and the executive team through some impressive highs, including showcasing Lancashire at the Houses of Parliament on Lancashire Day in 2018, delivery of the first nationally funded campaign to attract international visitors to the county, the establishment of the Lancashire Ambassadors programme, launched by Andrew Flintoff at Samlesbury Hall, and Lancashire’s largest ever showcase at MIPIM, an international real estate conference, in March 2019.”

However, it was the competition for UK City of Culture that Tony saw as one of those rare opportunities to elevate the profile and culture of a place, while bringing with it significant investment, employment and legacy, that captured his attention. On Lancashire Day 2019, Tony, as chair of Lancashire 2025 and director Debbi Lander, launched a vision for Lancashire 2025 at events in both Lancashire and London. It was accepted in the DCMS criteria for applicants and in August Lancashire was named as one of a record 20 places, in the running for the accolade. Sadly, just over a month later, the Lancashire 2025 team was informed the bid would not progress to the next stage of the competition.

Tony said: “It has been my privilege to have served this great and historic county with a talented team within ML, and in partnership with the professional officers of the county. The work that has been undertaken was linked by a common bond of love for our county and a determination to demonstrate, nationally and internationally, that the county has a great deal to offer for work, as a place to live, study, invest in and to visit.”



Business development specialist Elevate is running a free Carbon Literacy training workshop for up to 20 hospitality businesses on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, during the much-anticipated COP26 event in Glasgow. The training will provide businesses with the tools and knowledge needed to achieve net zero and stay on track with Greater Manchester’s ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2038, 12 years ahead of the rest of the UK.

Having provided training to more than 30 businesses to date, the Carbon Literacy course will be hosted by Elevate co-founder and director, Ilona Alcock, to help the industry curve public perception and shine a light on the low carbon initiatives businesses can adopt to create positive change.

The course will cover a range of topics to help those in attendance upskill in Carbon Literacy such as: What climate change is and how we know it’s real; the current and projected impacts of climate change; what needs to be done locally, nationally and internationally; climate justice; how hospitality venues and organisations can reduce their environmental impact; the links between carbon reduction and the economy.

Ilona said: “With COP26 approaching, we know the conference will cover a lot of ground, but not necessarily lead to enough results. COP26 may be a common term within some industries, but for many it’s not – we want to involve the wider community in the North, ensuring they understand the point and ambitions of an event like this, allowing them to contribute towards the end goal of achieving net zero across the UK.”

Places on Elevate’s free Carbon Literacy training for the hospitality sector will be first come, first served, and take place at Cornerstone in Manchester on November 9.


The Protos site

The builders of Protos Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), near Ellesmere Port, are holding a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at the Vale Royal Suite at the Best Western, Forest Hills Hotel, Overton Hill, Frodsham, on Tuesday, November 9, from 10.30am to 6.30pm.

The Protos ERF will generate up to 49 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 90,000 homes – by processing up to 400,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste each year. The facility is being built through a joint venture between MYTILINEOS and Standardkessel Baumgarte GmbH (SBG). Both companies are internationally recognised for their expertise in the energy sector.

During construction, the project will need to use many different subcontractors and it is keen to work with local suppliers wherever possible. Services such as office supplies, cleaning, accommodation, catering and health & safety expertise will all need to be bought, as well as goods and services that are more typically associated with construction and engineering, such as scaffolding, concrete and mechanical and electrical services.

At the event, representatives from the purchasing teams of both MYTILINEOS and SBG will be available to discuss upcoming contracts and estimated timescales. Anyone wishing to attend should register and book a time slot in advance via the project website – – as visitor numbers will be controlled through the day to support social distancing and avoid congestion at peak times.

Businesses that are unable to attend, but are still interested in bidding for contracts, can email with details of the goods and services they offer.


Alex Bright

Manchester-based PACC has won a contract to recruit IT and tech staff for KeyPay, an Australian-founded company that provides a cloud based payroll platform to businesses across the world. Working on a retained basis, PACC will help KeyPay identify candidates for a range of roles including senior developers, product managers and customer success managers.

With global demand for such skills at an unprecedented level, PACC founder Alex Bright said: “It has never been more important to take a considered – rather than knee jerk – approach to recruitment. Companies are snapping up candidates for inflated salaries and coming to regret their decision quite quickly. We are delighted that KeyPay has awarded us this contract and recognises that our approach is truly different from traditional recruiters.”

Phil Bernie, co-founder of KeyPay, said: “KeyPay is a fast growing, forward thinking company with 80 employees in three countries. We need a trusted partner who can service our demands. We have used PACC on an ad hoc basis and have always been really pleased with their approach, knowledge of our sector, and the candidates they have found for us. We had no hesitation in appointing them on a more formal, retained, basis.”

PACC was established in 2019. When the company is looking to fill a new position, PACC identifies applicants and uses its knowledge of the company and its performers, to conduct cultural compatibility assessments before recommending a shortlist.

“Our key aim is to identify candidates who will fit culturally and, therefore, stay,” added Bright.

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