Bringing the beat back to Bradford

Celebrations as £4m is awarded from the DCMS via the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund

23 Mar 2018


Bradford Live are delighted that the BMDC bid for the former Odeon has been selected by DCMS to receive a £4m share of the Government’s Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

Heritage and tourism minister Michael Ellis has today revealed that three major cultural projects across the North of England will receive a share of the £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund – ours is one!

The fund has been created to build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North, which launches in Newcastle-Gateshead on June 22.

In November 2017 it was announced that our project was the Leeds City Region’s chosen project to be considered for this funding. Support for the redevelopment of this much-loved and historic cultural landmark has been huge, gaining the support of thousands of members of the public along with a collection of world-renowned artists and leading Bradford cultural figures.

We have been working on the scheme for six years and feel that the award of this grant shows significant confidence in the City of Bradford and the project.

In September 2017, Bradford Live secured the NEC Group as Operator for the venue securing a 30 year lease on the building. NEC run some of the largest entertainment, conference and exhibition facilities in the UK.

Phil Mead, Managing Director for Arenas and NEC Group International, said:

“This is a project already generating a huge amount of excitement and goodwill – both as a building with tremendous history in its own right but also as a flagship investment that will help deliver a fantastic new venue for the city and support Bradford’s ongoing regeneration as a vibrant, thriving destination. This latest funding news is a great vote of confidence in the project and warmly welcomed as another important step towards bringing the vision to life.

We are proud to partner with Bradford Live to deliver what will be a unique addition to the UK live entertainments market. As the design and redevelopment planning continues at pace, we look forward to harnessing the full breadth and depth of NEC Group operational expertise to realise a full and diverse programme of events, set to open in 2020.”

Programme Director, Kirsten Branston from Bradford Live added, “We would like to thank all those who backed the bid which has benefitted from cross party support in particular the efforts of Bradford Council and Bradford’s MPs. The redevelopment of this iconic building will be a magnificent legacy project for the Great Exhibition of the North.”

The bid for funding for the Odeon project was placed by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. Its chairman Roger Marsh said: “The fact that the Leeds City Region bid is one of just three to secure funding from this fund shows the strength of the case we put forward in partnership with Bradford Council and Bradford Live, and the power of the vision we share for Bradford and the wider area.”

Once completed, the venue will host a wide variety of over 200 events per annum with a capacity of up to 4,000 people and is expected to attract over 270,000 visitors annually. It will bring a new cultural and entertainment offer to Bradford and contribute over £10.4m annually to the local economy along with an estimated 500 jobs. The revamped building is expected to open in late 2020.

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