ASM Global fails in bid to block £350m Eastlands arena project
The AO Arena operator asked that Manchester City Council’s decision to approve Oak View Group’s plans for a 23,500-capacity venue at the Etihad Campus be reviewed, but the request has been rebuffed by the secretary of state.
ASM Global claims there is insufficient demand to sustain two large arenas in Manchester, saying that if the project went ahead it would have an “adverse impact” on the existing arena and the wider city centre.
The firm added that the proposals put forward by US-based developer Oak View Group relied on “flawed research and impossible market projections”.
However, Robert Jenrick’s decision not to review the case signals the end of ASM Global’s hopes of blocking the proposals, paving the way for contractor Bam Construction to start on site in the new year.
When approving Oak View Group’s application in September, Manchester councillors voiced their collective support for the project, designed by architect Populous.
Eight of the nine planning committee members voted in favour of the project, while chair of the committee Cllr Basil Curley abstained.
Shortly after being granted planning consent, Oak View Group secured a £100m naming rights deal for the arena with the Co-op.
ASM Global declined to comment.