Would-be developers are being sought for Bradford’s iconic Odeon building after it changed hands for just £1.
Bradford Council has now officially bought the beleaguered former cinema from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
The Council even took to Twitter yesterday to invite prospective developers to come forward.
The HCA has also sold the former Tyrls police station building to the Council for the same peppercorn price. The sales came with a total of £3.5 million of HCA funding to help the authority prepare both sites for development.
Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, welcomed the progress.
He said: “We can now push forward with plans for the regeneration and transformation of the city centre.
“Acquiring the former Odeon means that we can now examine commercially viable ideas to save the building which many have fought to keep over the last decade while it has stood empty.”
The groups Bradford One and Bradford Live both have plans for the Odeon, which has stood empty since 2000, and earlier this month they were invited to look inside the boarded-up building.
Lee Craven, of Bradford Live, said the group was pretty much ready to submit its bid to turn it into a live venue.
He said: “Bradford Live is delighted that the Council has finally taken ownership of the Odeon, a
nd would like to thank also the HCA for its care and stewardship of the building over the past two years.
“We look forward to receiving the Council’s ‘expressions of interest’ document in the near future, to which we will respond quickly with our proposal for a 3,500-4,000 capacity live music and entertainment venue.
“Our architect, Tim Ronalds, the man behind the Hackney Empire conversion, went inside the building last month, and was reassured by its condition.”
Gideon Seymour, chairman of Bradford One, said touring the inside of the building had left him “more excited” about its bid to create a music venue and creative hub.
He said: “The challenge for the architects will be to retain as much of the sense of the old building, to retain anything that makes sense to keep, and to fit into that a modern, fit-for-purpose venue.”
Once any bids for the building have been received, the Council will draw up a shortlist of contenders.