Call for clarity over flagship redevelopment of live events venue

Bradford Chamber of Commerce has today called for “swift and positive” news regarding the status of the Bradford Live project.

The regeneration scheme to transform the former Odeon building into a modern entertainment venue was due to open this year, creating an entertainment space anticipated to welcome 300,000 visitors a year for music, sporting and comedy events.

While work is still taking place at the site, speculation has been mounting about the venue’s future and involvement of the NEC Group as the venue’s operator.

In December last year, Birmingham-based NEC Group said developer Bradford Live would hand over the prominent venue to the NEC Group “by mid-2024”, with organisers previously saying the launch season for Bradford Live would happen this autumn.

However, people have been unable to buy tickets for more than a month for the first two shows announced for Bradford Live. And these shows are no longer featured on the Bradford Live website.

Bradford Council has told local media that a contract it has with the NEC Group “remains in place”. has contacted the NEC Group for comment.

The Chamber is now asking for clarity about the state-of-play with the venue from the NEC, Bradford Council and Bradford Live itself.

Mark Cowgill, president of Bradford Chamber, said: “With so much positive momentum currently behind the city ahead of Bradford 2025 and so much regeneration works currently underway in the city, it is crucial that we obtain clarity about the Bradford Live venue’s status.

“Our membership has grown restless and the lack of clarity in media reports has been unhelpful with regards to both the morale of business and ability to attract investment into Bradford.

“The scale of opportunity that Bradford Live presents not only for this city but for the North of England is massive and so therefore we call upon all parties to dampen speculation with a clear unequivocal backing for the project’s future.

“We at Bradford Chamber are under no illusions as to the scale of the difficulties our economy is currently facing. However, communication breeds confidence and silence merely brings fear, something that our city does not need during this pivotal time in its history.”