Bringing the beat back to Bradford

We’ve reached a huge milestone in our transformation!

18 Oct 2019

Photo by David Oxtaby -
Photo by David Oxtaby

We’ve spent nine months on the demolition project and now that the steel and concrete partitions that once divided the building have now been removed, we can finally reveal the full, stunning structure of the original auditorium.

We’ve spent nine months on the demolition project and now that the steel and concrete partitions that once divided the building have now been removed, we can finally reveal the full, stunning structure of the original auditorium.

Designed by the architect William Illingworth, the Renaissance Revival building was completed in 1930 as the New Victoria Cinema and was one of the largest cinemas outside London with 3,318 seats, a restaurant and a ballroom.

A main contractor will soon be appointed to lead on the internal and external works that will transform our building into a 4000-capacity multi-purpose live events venue.

We’ve secured funding for the project with £4 million from the Government’s Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, a £959,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and £357,500 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s growth deal.

The venue will be run by the NEC Group who are based in Birmingham, and have made a 30-year commitment with plans for over 200 events a year. We’ll be offering a strong calendar of world class music, comedy and family entertainment, with some impressive multi-purpose conference and meeting spaces too.

“I’ve always believed the building has huge potential and now it is finally opened up, the scale and promise of the venue, and the impact it will have for Bradford, can be seen by all."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “It’s really exciting to see this project progressing so well. It will be an amazing venue when restored and a great complement to the existing entertainment venues in the district, bringing jobs and opportunities in the region.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council said: “It’s fantastic to see how Growth Deal funding is helping to transform this much-loved art deco landmark into an exciting venue that will attract thousands of people into the city centre and create new jobs when it opens.

The regenerated venue will be a valuable addition to the vibrant cultural offer of the Leeds City Region and support the ongoing economic transformation of Bradford.”

David Renwick, Director, England: North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re very proud to support the regeneration of Bradford Live, as the former Bradford Odeon is a building the community of Bradford loves and had fought to save. It's great that in the year that the National Lottery celebrates its 25th birthday, we're involved in such a great community project. The architecture and engineering to create such a fantastic space is brilliant and it will be an amazing venue for live bands and music just like when the Beatles and others played here in the past, as many Bradfordians can recall.”

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