Comedian Peter Kay has said he is “truly gutted” after opening performances of a new arena were postponed with less than 48 hours’ notice.

Manchester’s Co-op Live – which will be the largest arena in the UK, seating 23,500 people – was due to officially open this week with shows from the Bolton-born comic on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But, after capacity for a test event on Saturday was reduced with just hours’ notice, the arena announced on Monday that Kay’s performances would instead take place on April 29 and 30.

In a statement posted on X by Co-op Live, Kay said: “I’m truly gutted as I know how disappointing this will be for everyone with tickets, but obviously it’s a brand-new venue and it’s important that everything is finished and safe for full capacity audiences.

“Fortunately we’ve been able to reschedule the shows to next week, (I’ll have to miss my Bums and Tums class) but hopefully I’ll see you then.”

A spokesman for the arena, which is next door to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, said: “It is critical to ensure we have a consistent total power supply to our fully electric sustainable venue, the completion of which is a few days behind.

“Rescheduling gives us the extra time we need to continue testing thoroughly.

“This is vital to satisfy the rigorous set of guidelines and protocols that are necessary for a venue of this size.”

The venue, built by developer the Oak View Group, was given planning permission in 2020 and boasted an investment from popstar Harry Styles.

The developers said the £350 million project would created 3,500 jobs during construction and a further 1,000 once the venue opened.

A spokesman for Manchester City Council said the decision to postpone shows was one made entirely by the venue.

The PA news agency understands a practical completion certificate has not been issued by the authority’s building control department because there are elements of the building which have not yet been completed, however, that would not prevent the venue from operating.

The council spokesman said: “We respect the decision by Co-op Live to rearrange their first public events at the new arena.

“Although no doubt disappointing for both the venue and those who were attending the first shows this week, it is the right decision if they feel the venue is not ready to welcome visitors and their systems aren’t fully tested.

“The council will continue to work closely with the venue as they push to complete the arena and prepare to host their first official shows.”