Music star Harry Styles has made his first big move into the business world with an investment in Co-op Live, Oak View Group’s new venue in Manchester.
The former One Direction singer has taken a stake in the project and will also be actively involved in the development of the planned 23,500-seat arena, which is set to open in 2023. OVG said the 26-year-old will work alongside its UK and international team, taking a particular interest in fans, unique premium and hospitality areas and artist spaces at Co-op Live.
OVG said Styles’ involvement is “a huge coup for OVG to have him onboard and investing in their arena while at the peak of his artistic career”.
Styles said: “I’m incredibly proud and excited to be partnering with OVG on their plans for Co-op Live. Manchester is an incredible city, filled with incredible people, and I couldn’t be happier being involved in this project. It very much feels like coming home.
“I was drawn to this project on every level, from the opportunities it brings, to the contribution it will make to the city, and most importantly, that it will allow even more live music to thrive in Manchester. It’s just another sign that this amazing city continues to grow.”
Styles, who is reported to be worth more than £60m, saw his most recent album Fine Line debut at No.1 in more than 20 countries, including the US.
Co-op Live will be located on the Etihad Campus and represents a £350m private investment in Manchester. It will generate 3,500 jobs during construction as well as 1,000 jobs during operation.
Commenting on Styles’ involvement, Francesca Bodie, OVG’s president of business development, said: “At OVG our vision is driven by a unique view that puts fans and artists first in every decision we make. There’s no artist in the world right now better placed than Harry to advise us on delivering a first-class experience for visitors and artists at Co-op Live.
“We’re focused on building one of the world’s best arenas in Manchester and Harry’s advice and consultation is going to be invaluable as we work to deliver that.”
UK consumer co-operative Co-op last month acquired naming rights to the planned new arena through a 15-year agreement with OVG. The Co-op’s deal has a reported price tag of around £100m (€110.1m/$129.6m).
Around £1m per year will be delivered to community groups by the Co-op Foundation as part of the deal.
Harry Styles image: Hélène Marie Pambrun (added to Co-op Live rendering)