Approx 570 words.

It’s a very exciting time for us here at Co-op as we continue to develop Co-op Live – the UK’s biggest music arena. And we’re delighted to be working with Co-op Members to explore the exclusive benefits they might expect to be offered at the venue when it opens in 2023.

Located in Greater Manchester, the 23,500-capacity state-of-the-art stadium will host music and sport events, comedy gigs, family entertainment and award shows too.

Rooted in our Co-op values, the low emissions, sustainable and socially responsible arena will create zero waste. It will sell our ethically sourced Fairtrade food range, support local community causes across the UK, and offer exclusive deals to our amazing members too.

Responsible for developing our membership proposition, it’s really important that we work together with members to help shape future member benefits.

So, in May, we held an online workshop with members to help us explore what those offers might be for Co-op Live.

The conversation was interesting, and the views and ideas members shared with us really made us think about how we can make the membership offer for Co-op Live something very special.

We looked at everything from early-release tickets, VIP access, cheaper venue food and drinks, and even member-only priority lanes.

Some of the key issues members felt we should consider included:


Members highlighted that sometimes offers and specials could be complex to understand and difficult to explain. Ease of access, simplicity in communications and promotion at the correct point were seen as important.


Members asked us to look at how we could support sustainable transport opportunities and especially how we could help members travel together.


Emphasis was placed on how we could ensure this was a national offer to members with ideas like cheaper travel tickets, travel and accommodation packages and virtual access.


Overall, members said there should be a sense of fairness in the offers to make sure everyone could access and benefit.

As well as personal rewards and benefits, we also had discussions around doing something good to get something good.

Members liked the idea of unlocking special offers the more you got involved – whether by shopping with us, choosing a cause or joining in. They helped us explore what we might be able to ask of members and how they would feel about the offers they might receive.

Finally, we explored the role of co-operation and working together with family, friends, and local communities to access extra benefits at Co-op Live. Members felt there was something interesting in this space and this is something we need to explore a bit more to ensure we can make it land just right.

Our next steps 

Armed with so many fantastic ideas and suggestions to explore, this invaluable member feedback has already taken centre stage at recent project meetings.

We’ll continue to involve members as we develop the membership proposition further, so watch out for more opportunities to join in to share your views and ideas in the future.

In the meantime, there are always opportunities for Co-op Members to get involved in their Co-op. Find out what’s available now by joining in on your online Membership account

Anne Byrom 
Head of Member Proposition 

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Given I work in food store deliveries, the overall condition of stores especially delivery areas have been neglected historically. Instead of funding a new build concert/conference arena maybe the existing estate could be improved and brought to an acceptable condition. Even the depot is in a bit of a sorry state

    • From what you’ve said Graeme I fully support your view. I think spending money on a concert venue is sheer folly. It’s going to be some time before there are the numbers of concert goers as there were before the pandemic. Please spend co-op members money responsibly.

  2. Does Manchester really need another live music venue ? I think not. Surely the Co-op should be concentrating on its core business i.e. supermarkets, food production, legal and financial services etc. and the money saved could be ploughed into electric delivery vehicles and other climate change issues.

  3. It would be great to offer low income families from near the venue free places at appropriate events and also target those communities, as well as people experiencing homelessness, the opportunity to apply for jobs.

  4. I also would have been interested in becoming involved with this project, as I have knowledge of venues and sustainable options on the technical performance side. But, I did not hear about this either, although on the mailing list.

  5. I am concerned that the Co-op’s aim to have a live venue, despite all the laudable aims being proposed, will face a lot of competition from other long established music venues such as the Arena, Bridgewater Hall, O2 Ritz, Apollo in Ardwick, Castlefield Bowl, the Warehouse Project (seasonal I know) to name some of these.

  6. I have constantly said “Yes” to further member participation (and not just the frivolous stuff, of which there is too much…), but never see or get an invite….Very frustrating. I would have been very interested to contribute to this research and I believe I could make some useful points. But no invitation…

    • Hi Chris – Thanks for the reply. It’s really strange that you don’t get our Join in emails. They should go to all marketable members. Do you receive other emails from us such as food offers or our other businesses?


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