Harry Styles is making a foray into the business world with an investment in Co-op Live, a new £350 million ($457 million) music and live event arena planned for Manchester, England.
L.A.-based sports and live entertainment development and investment firm Oak View Group (OVG) announced the news on Monday morning U.K. time. Financial details of Styles’ investment weren’t disclosed, but British media described it as “significant.”
The singer-songwriter will also be “actively involved in the development of the project in his hometown of Manchester,” working with OVG’s team to deliver “world-leading experiences at Co-op Live, with a particular focus on fans, unique premium and hospitality areas, and artist spaces.”
“The arena, which will be the U.K.’s largest, was given planning approval in September and is set to open in 2023,” the company said, adding it will be “the most sustainable arena in Europe.” It added: “Harry Styles continues to enjoy monumental success with his music career following the release of his 2019 album Fine Line. It is a huge coup for OVG to have him on board and investing in their arena while at the peak of his artistic career.”
The company also highlighted: “The investment in Co-op Live also closes a particular loop for Harry, whose first job was delivering newspapers for a Co-op store as a teenager.” Co-op is a supermarket/retail company.
OVG said the construction of the venue will bring 3,500 jobs to the area, with a further 1,000 jobs set to be created during operation. According to media reports, the hope is for the arena to boost the local economy by more than £1.5 billion ($1.96 billion) over the next 20 years.
Co-op Live will feature the largest standing floor capacity in the U.K. and “will be designed to provide fair financial opportunities for artists while offering fans access to tickets at a wide, and accessible, range of prices.”
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.”
He added, “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.”
Francesca Bodie, OVG’s president of business development, said: “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.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter