Plans for a new arena in Manchester approved
Plans for a new £350 million music and indoor sports arena next to the Etihad Stadium have been approved by Manchester Council.

US based the Oak View Group (OVG) want to build the 23,500 capacity venue, which would become the biggest indoor arena in Britain, on land next to Manchester City`s home and the Ashton Canal.

They claim that it could bring in as much as £1.5bn into the city’s economy over the next 20 years.

The existing Manchester Arena were bitterly opposed to the proposals, saying they fear it could drive them out of business.

However OVG insist the city can accommodate more than one arena, as in the case in Birmingham and London.

Council officers recommended it be approved in their report to councillors.

Following final confirmation from national planning authorities, OVG plans to begin work as early as November, generating 3,350 jobs during a three-year construction phase. The arena will create a further 1,000 jobs when the arena opens in 2023. OVG has committed to pay all employees at least the Manchester Living Wage and will prioritize hiring local people.

The issue raised by Manchester Arena: they argued the market did not need another large arena, with Manchester Arena capable of hosting 21,000 attendees.

In the end, the city council agreed that the new arena would expand the market. As part of the planning application, OVG commissioned independent research that indicated the arena will drive up to £1.5bn extra activity in the city’s economy. Further research showed that Manchester’s live entertainment market has the potential for an extra 2.05 million visitors by 2035.

“We’re delighted that Manchester City Council has given our proposals the go-ahead, and we can’t wait to get started, bringing a £350-million private investment, creating thousands of jobs, and delivering one of the world’s best arenas to this amazing city,” said Tim Leiweke, OVG’s co-founder and Chief Executive, via press release. “I want to say a huge thank you to the community for taking the time to listen to what we had to say and providing feedback that ensured this arena is of Manchester, for Manchester and by Manchester.”