When leading US entertainment company Oak View Group (OVG) entered the UK market, they asked Blakeney to run their media, political, and digital communications.

As well as developing an alliance of like-minded venues, OVG is working with Blakeney on multiple development projects, chief amongst them Manchester. Manchester has had an arena in the city centre since 1995; but, as the live entertainment market has grown and other major European cities have added venues, Manchester has not and now risks being left behind. Manchester City Council recognised this risk, and included a potential second arena as part of a city-wide regeneration framework in early 2019.

The project has gained significant support from local councillors and politicians, the media, and the industry, as well as de-escalating concerns that could have affected the application. Blakeney launched the £350m project for OVG in February this year, and a planning application was submitted a week later.

If approved, the new 23,500-seat arena will be the most sustainable venue in the UK and Europe, supporting the council’s ambition to make Manchester a zero-carbon city by 2038, and ensuring it remains a world-leading music city while bringing significant economic benefits.