Plans to re-open former Odeon building into entertainment venue move forward

Plans to re-open the Bradford Odeon as a live music, entertainment and conference venue have moved a step closer.

Bradford Live and Bradford Council have announced they will bid for funding from a new Government pot set up to use culture to regenerate parts of the North.

Grants of up to £4m from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will be made available to a small number of transformational projects as part of the legacy of the Great Exhibition of the North which is being held in Newcastle next summer.

Bradford reached the shortlist to stage the event and is now working with the winning city, Newcastle, to stage a satellite programme of the activity across the district between June and September next year.

Bradford Live and Bradford Council said it sees the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund as a “golden opportunity” to bid for cash that will transform the former Odeon building.

Bradford Council leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe said: “This is a great opportunity for the Odeon. I think it’s just the kind of project which would provide the Government with a tangible, prominent legacy for their investment.

“We have continued to back Bradford Live’s proposals to transform this landmark buiding into a live music venue that would greatly add to the strong cultural life of this city.

“The venue would bring in thousands of extra visitors into the city centre each year, adding another vital piece of the jigsaw to Bradford’s regeneration.”

Lee Craven from Bradford Live said: “We are totally committed to bringing this iconic building back into use and ensuring Bradford is back on the touring circuit for major music acts.

“We have a vision that the building could also be used for conferences and other creative uses as it sits in a superb central location. Renovating the Odeon building will complement the adjacent Alhambra Theatre, completing the vista from the multi-award winning City Park.

“Huge progress has already been made and a successful bid to this fund would be another leap forward to achieving that aim.”

The first round of bids for the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund is being coordinated by Local Enterprise Partnerships including Leeds City Region.