Manchester Arena owner apologises over repair work

Investment firm Secure Income Reit, which owns the Manchester Arena, has apologised after repair work at the venue following the 2017 terrorist attack was deemed to have caused “consistent and great concern and distress” to families of victims.

Twenty-two people were killed during the attack following an Ariana Grande concert at the venue on May 22, 2017. The suicide bomb was let off in the foyer area of the arena.

The Manchester Evening News reports that a barrister representing a number of the families of the 22 victims said at a pre-inquest review that the way the area has been repaired “gives a very clear delineation as to where this atrocity happened”.

Addressing coroner Sir John Saunders, John Cooper QC told the hearing: “So each and every time you go you can actually see this thing awfully highlighted by the way it has been repaired.

“We have raised it with the arena. We’re not sure whether we’re getting anywhere, but can we, through you, on behalf of those we represent, please implore those who have influence over the arena to properly repair that area so that the tragic spot is not constantly delineated every time people walk in there.”

Secure Income Reit bought Manchester Arena in March 2018 as part of a portfolio deal worth £436m (€508m/$575m). The deal was completed last July.

Following Cooper’s comments during the hearing, a spokesman for Secure Income Reit told the MEN: “Having become the owners of the Manchester Arena in July 2018, we have continued the undertaking of significant works to repair the damage resulting from this tragic incident.

“Unfortunately, at times during the course of these works, this damage becomes visible. We are very mindful of the sensitivities this may cause and are working expeditiously with the contractors to complete the works.

“We apologise for any distress caused, and will revisit what actions might be taken with our construction team and SMG, who operate the arena, to minimise this occurring in the future.”

Image: Matthew Hartly