Council to invite proposals for former cinema takeover.
Submissions from groups which want to rejuvenate the former Odeon building in Bradford city centre will be invited in a matter of weeks once the council takes ownership of the site.
Bradford one and Bradford Live both have plans for the venue and both were invited to look inside the boarded-up building by the Homes and Communities Agency and the Council.
Lee Craven, who is behind the Bradford Live project, said he took his architect Tim Ronalds to examine its interior condition.
“We took in some engineers and had a good look around,” he said. “It was reassuring that the core of the building is in good shape. There were a few areas of dampness, but we were able to get up on scaffolding as well.
“As soon as the Council issue their expressions of interest we are ready to go.
The main difference between ours and Bradford One is our plan is to strip out the old cinemas and bingo hall and restore the original auditorium as a live performance venue with 4000 capacity. That number can make it attractive for the centre of Bradford, which would transform the city centre.”
Gideon Seymour, chairman of Bradford One, which hopes to create a music venue and creative hub, said: “It was very encouraging once you try to look beyond the subdivisions created inside. The scale of the space is phenomenal and you could imagine what it could become.
“What we want at Bradford One is for that space to be the hub of the city centre in an attractive building with a glass façade on the front of the building. We are planning a four-storey new build on an empty space behind the Odeon which would be a creative production facility.”
Mark Nicholson, of the Bradford Odeon Rescue Group, said its members were invited by Bradford Live to give them a guided tour,
Mr Nicholson said : “Our knowledge of the Odeon’s layout allowed us to direct Bradford Live’s assessment of the interior beyond the false walls and ceilings that subdivided the original theatre in the late 1960’s.
“We were able to point out the location of original features such as hidden balconies and former circulation spaces.”
Bradford Council leader David green said: “We will not be opening the timetable for subdivisions until we have formally taken over the building in the next couple of weeks, then we will formally announce we are opening to individual expressions of interest and providing details of what information we will need people to provide.