Bringing the beat back to Bradford

Impact for Bradford

Bradford, England’s 5th largest city by population, has a rich industrial and social history and has retained many of the great buildings of its heyday, and of these, given its prominent location, the building (first opened in 1930) is probably the most important.

This ambitious and exciting project will transform the former cinema in central Bradford into a commercially viable, sustainable, world-class, 4,000 capacity live music/events venue run by the NEC Group and will put Bradford firmly back on the national touring circuit.

The new venue will be a ‘game changer’ for the City and wider District. Specifically, it will:

  • regenerate a key building that overlooks, and forms the backdrop to, Bradford’s flagship £26m City Park development.
  • create 50 new jobs directly, and many more indirectly by stimulating wider regeneration.
  • bring an estimated 300,000 visitors into the city centre each year, with a total additional spend of around £9.5m.
  • put Bradford back on the national live music touring map, and encourage grassroots entertainment of music.
  • build links with local education providers to ensure that young people are educated and trained to meet the needs of the growing live music and event industry.
  • equip the City with an historic and flexible venue to host live music and events, dinners and conferences.

The capital cost of transforming the building means that there is no prospect of any purely private developer making a commercial return from the project; Bradford Live, NEC Group and Bradford Council have collaborated to create a powerful private/public/third sector partnership to deliver this pivotal project, working in synergy to re-vitalise an existing asset for modern 21st century usage. DCMS have granted £4m from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, the Heritage Fund £999,900 and WYCA £357,500.

We have also sponsored several key Bradford events, such as the Inspirational Women’s Awards 2014, the Joshua Project young people’s award, Boar Fest 2015 and Bradford Beck.

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