Manchester Band, Larkins

Oak View Group is working on proposals for an exciting new state-of-the-art live venue at the Etihad Campus in East Manchester.

Manchester is world-famous for its incredible contribution to music, entertainment, and sporting heritage, and we want to build on that legacy with our proposals for a new venue. Our vision is to create the best arena in Europe, bringing the world’s top events to East Manchester.


Our plans for a new arena would bring significant benefits to East Manchester and the surrounding areas.

  • The venue would support around 3,350 jobs during its three year construction period, and up to 1,000 jobs across a wide range of sectors once opened.
  •  A local jobs and skills strategy, including an apprenticeship programme, will be activated for the construction phase and to recruit for opening.
  • OVG is committed to ensuring as many jobs as possible go to local people and will prioritise hiring people who live within walking distance.
  • Those working on-site, during construction and when the arena is opened, will be paid at least the Manchester Living Wage, which is significantly more than the statutory minimum.
  • A new world-class live venue would also provide a significant boost to Manchester’s visitor economy, which currently supports over 41,000 jobs.



Manchester City Centre


Aerial view of Etihad Campus

At the heart of every Oak View Group project is a focus on making the new venue a key part of the local community.

  • So we’ll be placing a huge emphasis on ensuring employment, skills, and training opportunities go to people in East Manchester and the wider city – and championing the use of the arena’s spaces for community and educational events once it’s built.
  • Through extensive community and city centre consultations we have understood local priorities and the vision to transform Eastlands, and our ambition is to create a state-of-the-art venue that not only provides a truly outstanding experience for audiences but is also rooted in the local community and provides genuine benefits for local people.
  • The site’s public transport links and proximity to national networks will be supported by investment in improved campus-wide cycle facilities and improvements to the main walking and cycling routes into the City Centre.
  • We have committed to the implementation of a controlled residents’ parking scheme, which has been identified as one of the priorities by residents.
  • We envisage launching a unique charitable programme with the arena and its partners and performers contributing. The fund will support national and local causes and will be a force for good.


Despite a growing market in the UK for live entertainment, including music, family shows and sport, Manchester has fallen behind other major cities and destinations. Detailed analysis undertaken as part of the planning and design process by Ekosgen and PWC show that the industry growth and Manchester’s economic and cultural strength will support two successful arenas. 

  • Analysis indicates new arenas drive overall growth in the market, and there are several examples across the UK of two arenas in close proximity operating on a commercially viable basis.
  • The Market Assessment analysis shows a second arena will generate very significant additional economic benefits for the economy with city centre businesses benefiting hugely, where the majority of hotels, serviced accommodation, food, beverage and retail businesses are based.
  • In the most conservative scenario, a second arena would contribute over £1bn GVA to the Manchester economy and lead to a 58% increase in GVA from visitor expenditure compared to the current position, while the most ambitious scenario would result in an 80% increase.
  • A new arena would result in around 1 million additional arena ticket sales annually within the city and an associated potential increase of between 68-95% in terms of jobs and economic impact (GVA) compared to the current position.


We’re proud to be championing a new kind of venue – one that has sustainability at its core both in terms of design and potential future operations. The venue brings local economic and social value whilst playing its full part in helping the Council to deliver its ambitions to be zero carbon by 2038. Our venue will be the most sustainable venue in the UK and Europe. 


  • The iconic architecture will be matched by our commitment to renewable energy, energy efficiency, low carbon technologies and intelligent building and lighting design.
  • The Etihad Campus is currently well served by public transport and sustainable transport modes. Plans to enhance the canal side and improve the pedestrian environment and quality of green spaces, where visitors can walk, sit and relax (both on event days and non-event days), will act to significantly improve the quality of the walking and cycling routes around the venue, and will encourage active, environmentally friendly travel to and from the arena.
  • Inclusivity is at the heart of the design, with proposals addressing barriers that form physical constraints but also barriers experienced by people who are neurodivergent, experience mental ill health, who are deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing and people who are blind or partially sighted – we will lead the way in offering fully inclusive facilities.


  • We will remove avoidable single-use plastic and implement responsible waste management practises, including a target of sending zero waste to landfill.
  • We will aim to use renewable energy where possible.
  • Safety for all visitors will be central to the design of the new venue, with a robust security strategy developed with Greater Manchester Police, Prevent Advisors (OVG’s own pioneering security advisory service), and the existing Campus operations team.









External render


Internal render

Our plans have been submitted to Manchester City Council now, and although we’ve already spoken with many people and groups from the local community at our consultation events in October and December, we still welcome any comments, concerns or messages of support. Feedback from the local community is absolutely vital to helping us shape our proposals.

You can visit our consultation website to let us know what you think – and together, we can make this new arena a truly transformational project for East Manchester.

We will be adding a number of factsheets to help people understand our plans. Please see below as we add more in the coming weeks: