Fraud investigation at First Direct Arena firm

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POLICE are investigating an allegation of fraud at SMG Europe, the operator of the First Direct Arena in Leeds city centre.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said the fraud allegation was made last October and enquiries are ongoing.

Manchester-based SMG Europe, which is a subsidiary of US venue specialist SMG, operates arenas in Poland and Germany, as well as in York, Manchester, Newcastle, Belfast and Scunthorpe.

The company’s 2014 accounts published last week highlighted an “incredible first year” for its Leeds venue as the group grew revenue by 3.7 per cent to £45.2m.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “On 15 October 2014, police received an allegation of fraud. An investigation has been launched and enquiries are ongoing.”

No-one from SMG Europe was available for comment.