Manchester's Co-Op Live set to be UK's First EVER All-Electric Arena

It'll be the UK's biggest arena and will also be the first ever all electric one too...

By Manchester's Finest | 2 November 2021

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Situated right next door to the Etihad Stadium, Co-op Live is going to be the UK’s biggest area when it opens in 2023, bringing with it a capacity of 23,500 and also – some prized sustainability credentials.

It’s set to be the UK’s first all-electric arena, unlike anywhere else – it’s been designed without any gas supply serving the site.

The venue will use electricity for everything from air-source heat pumps for heating and domestic hot water through to cooling and catering, unlike traditional arenas which tend to use gas boilers. The rooftop solar panels will be used to power day-to-day activity, with green electricity from the grid topping up capacity for events.

The current design achieves over 50% reduction in energy usage compared to a similar arenas, in large part due to the switch away from using gas boilers.

There will also be significant air quality improvement due to the avoidance of on-site fuel burning. The design will enable a 23% reduction in carbon emissions and, crucially, by building electric-based infrastructure from the very beginning, the arena will be on track towards achieving net zero carbon by Manchester City Council’s target of 2038.

Key features:

100% electric building
Air source heat pumps
8,883m2 solar panels
100% rainwater harvesting
2,791m2 of greening
240 covered cycles spaces and encouragement of low carbon transport
LED lighting
BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating
0 waste to landfill
0 food waste

Co-op Live is currently around one year into the build phase. The commencement of construction stimulated £150m in orders to local firms in the North West, as part of OVG’s commitment to local procurement and minimising the venue’s carbon footprint. There is also a fleet of electric vehicles delivering materials to the site.

Mark Donnelly, COO, OVG International, said: “Climate change is the single largest problem facing the planet today and we take our responsibility in creating a greener world seriously. In Co-op Live, we are building a planet-friendly venue as well as one capable of hosting the world’s best events.

“I’m proud that it’s going to be the UK’s first all-electric arena and we’re also implementing a range of other features including solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and extensive green spaces to make sure it’s the UK’s most sustainable.”