Coventry Building Society Arena appoints Claire Harkness as Operations Director
An events professional with more than 25 years’ experience working on high-profile events and with leading venues nationally and internationally has joined the team at Coventry Building Society Arena. Claire Harkness has been appointed Operations Director at the leading multi-purpose venue and will be leading on transforming the live events strategy for the future of the business. She will also lead on matchday operations for football fixtures at the venue, exhibitions and live entertainment, and health and safety for events. Claire previously worked with the operations team at Coventry Building Society Arena on the delivery of The Killers concert in the stadium bowl in 2022.
Over the course of her 28-year career, Claire has held a wide range of roles in event management, venue operations and event safety – working with organisations including MTV, BBC, the Scottish Government, UEFA, the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. She has held senior positions with Glasgow City Council, Rangers FC, Liverpool Football Club, Levy at Ibrox Stadium and Liverpool City Council, where she developed the delivery of Liverpool Without Walls, which was a benchmark initiative for getting hospitality back up and running post-pandemic. Last year Claire worked on the Qatar World Cup and has recently developed the concert operations at Plymouth Argyle.
She says she is looking forward to bringing her experience to Coventry Building Society Arena and supporting the growth of the venue’s event portfolio.
“I’ve worked with the venue in the past and I already felt very much part of the team, so when this opportunity arose, I knew it was the right step for me,” she said.
“Coventry Building Society Arena is so dynamic with sport, exhibitions, conferences and live entertainment – with a particularly great concert portfolio. The venue is in a real development phase now and it is an exciting time to be a part of that journey.
“We want to build on the foundations we already have from the legacy of events such as City of Culture and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“A key area we are looking at is growing the indoor live entertainment offer at the venue, which will be fantastic for us but also for the wider visitor economy in Coventry.”
Paul Michael, Managing Director at Coventry Building Society Arena, added: “Claire brings with her a wealth of experience in the events sector and will be a real asset to our team.
“She will play a leading role in transforming our live events strategy and driving growth in that area to give long-term benefits to the venue.
“We have worked alongside Claire on major events in the past and it is brilliant to be welcoming her in a permanent role at Coventry Building Society Arena.”