Co-op announced the initiative following the first seat installation at Co-op live - the UK’s largest and most socially responsible live entertainment venue

Earlier this week the first set of seats were installed at Co-op Live, Manchester’s new arena - set to be the biggest and most socially responsible in the UK. This key milestone in development comes ahead of the grand opening in April 2024.

To celebrate the moment, Co-op announced an initiative that supports young people in the area, awarding members of the community with exclusive access to seats for gigs throughout the year. The initiative will see Co-op gift a pair of tickets for every show to its charity. the Co-op Foundation. This is to award young people driving social change through community programmes across Manchester and the UK.

I am thrilled that my commitment to driving social change has been recognised by Co-op with tickets to a show next year

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Binish Syed Qureshi, first recipient of tickets from the initiative Image: Co-op live

The first recipient to benefit from the initiative is Binish Syed Qureshi from Manchester. Binish was chosen by the Foundation as she has helped to create accessible public spaces in her local area. 

Binish Syed Qureshi said: “Through my work, I feel great that I am in a position to amplify the voices of those people in our community who don’t have one, particularly working-class young people, and create accessible spaces for everyone to enjoy.  I am thrilled that my commitment to driving social change has been recognised by Co-op with tickets to a show next year.  I plan on making the most of this opportunity and taking my best friend to see the Jonas Brothers.”

This initiative forms part of ‘Gigs that Give Back’; a programme which emphasises both Co-op Live and Co-op’s commitment to making a positive impact in the community, especially for young people. Additionally, Co-op Live will also donate at least £1m a year to the Co-op Foundation to deliver on its new youth-led strategy to support future change-makers.

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Binish and her best friend will see the Jonas Brothers with their awarded tickets Image: Co-op live

Amanda Jennings, Director of Marketing Communications, Co-op, says: “This is an exciting moment to pause and celebrate a historic milestone in the development of Co-op Live and finally see the ‘Gigs that Give Back’ initiative brought to life with the seat gifting to young people in the community. 

“Co-op is working closely with the venue to create an experience with community at its core and we’re thrilled to be able to grant this special access to beneficiaries of the Co-op Foundation and our local community fund.”

Gary Roden, Executive Director and General Manager, Co-op Live, commented: “Today embodies everything that this arena is about – fans, community and music. Going to gigs is such a special experience, and we are delighted to support Co-op with this initiative to make sure that as many young people as possible from the community get the opportunity to experience Co-op Live.

“Seeing the first seats installed is an incredibly exciting milestone in the venue’s construction, and signals that we are getting closer to being able to welcome fans and artists to our amazing arena. Co-op Live is for everyone, and our partnership with Co-op is going to help us make that a reality.”

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Left to right: Gary Roden, Executive Director and General Manager of Co-op Live, Binish Syed Qureshi and Amanda Jennings, Director of Marketing Communications at Co-op Image: Co-op live

Nick Crofts, CEO, Co-op Foundation said: “Young people helped shape our vision for fairer future communities and this ticket initiative, plus the annual donation from Co-op Live, will help us bring that vision to life. Gigs at Co-op Live really are going to give back.”

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