Bradford Council bosses have backed Bradford Live’s proposals to transform the city’s former Odeon building into a live music venue.

Lee Craven - Bradford Live
Lee Craven – Bradford Live

The Council’s Executive today endorsed Bradford Live’s plan to bring the iconic building back into use and bring Bradford back on the touring circuit for major music acts.

Lee Craven, Project Director for Bradford Live, gave a presentation showing how the main auditorium would hold audiences of up to 4,500 for a range of live music events.

He explained that live gigs were what most people wanted but the building could also be possibly be used for conferences, academic and community uses.

Lee said: “This site is the bridge between the city centre and the Learning Quarter so it is a vital location.

“The Odeon building will complete that area and will look superb overlooking City Park.

“Revamping the Odeon building and making it a going concern will bring jobs and also more visitors to the city centre. We estimate it could bring in 400,000 extra visitors into the city centre each year and as much as £14m spend.

“This building is critical to Bradford’s regeneration. This Council is really making things happen and we need to work in close partnership with the Council to succeed.”

Bradford Council Leader, Councillor David Green, said: “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work but we still have a lot to sort out in terms of planning and finance. However, I really believe this is a massive leap forward.

“We can’t contribute financially but we will be as supportive as possible so it has the greatest chance of success.

“We made a commitment to do our best to deliver a future for the Odeon building and we are delighted that we have been able to do so.”

Bradford Live’s business plan involves keeping the exterior largely the same whilst transforming the interior.

They want to return the auditorium to the original 1930s design, ripping out all the 1960s inserts made by the Rank Group.

They want to hold about 150 events a year in the main auditorium with possibly up to 200 events a year in a former restaurant and ballroom in the building.

Bradford Live’s consultants, AECOM, have estimated the project will cost £18.248m including a contingency of 10%, but excluding VAT and inflation. If the ballroom wing was developed later, the costs would fall to £16.443m.

The project can only be delivered by securing a mixture of private and public sector funding over the coming months.